The first-half of last night’s Ulster v Connacht final was anything but typical for the game, and the only thing that could have been better was the way in which the match went to penalties.
But what was worse was that the officials failed to see the ball that was in play, and when it was shown, they didn’t see what it was.
The ball had been on the turf for three minutes before the ball was thrown out.
When the penalty was given, the referees and referee who saw it could not see it, which is what caused the game to be ruined.
It was one of those games where you just know the game is not going to be played at all, but the officials and referees didn’t.
And that’s where you have to put blame on the referees.
There were three penalties given.
One went straight to penalties and one went to the assistants and they had to go through their paperwork and go through it with the officials to make sure they had the right rules.
They were not allowed to call penalties until they were red-flagged.
They are not allowed at all.
The assistant referees were not even given an opportunity to review the ball.
It took them three minutes to review it, and they were told it was out of bounds.
But that was not enough time to call the penalty.
They could have just called it straight away.
But the assistant referee could not even look at the ball to see if it was a penalty.
There was a huge problem with the referees in the second half, and I would not be surprised if it would have gone differently had it not been for the referee in charge.
When they were given the decision in the first half, it was clear the referee made a mistake, and that is unacceptable.
It is a shame for him, but it is a reality for referees.
In terms of the officials, I would be shocked if there was a bigger error than they made in the penalty shoot-out.
It could have gone to penalties or not to penalties, but there was no time to review.
There should have been a better decision made and the game would have been played at full time.
There are still plenty of questions to be answered about how the penalty-shoot-out system works and how it was designed, but if there are any questions that need to be addressed, it needs to be done in the right way and it needs some time.