Referee Alain Rolland single-handedly sunk the honour of the Rugby World Cup last night. Rolland showed Welsh skipper Sam Warburton a red card following a spear tackle on French wing Vincent Clerc in the 18th minute of the game. The tackle itself did not appear to be carried out with malicious intent. It did not result in any injury to Clerc. And, it was not at the high end of such infringements where a player would be deliberately driven into the ground. Rolland, for a second time in the tournament showed himself to be an officious spoiler with a prejudice in favour of France. The French winger’s reaction was to grovel on the ground, milking the moment with an Oscar winning performance. The act of a cheat. In the France - All Black pool game, Rolland distracted the All Blacks with a little chat on rule interpretation allowing the French to skulk over the try line unopposed. He, clearly, does not understand the spirit of Rugby or any other sport. Rolland’s father is French and he speaks the language fluently. This apparently, made him a good choice of “neutral” ref for the French games. IRB logic defeats me, Wales and belief itself. I don’t recall seeing anything so contemptible since the French Secret Service came here to bomb a peace ship. If any glory can be salvaged from such a display it all goes to Wales who played on valiantly without their young skipper. Of shame there is plenty, for Alain Rolland and his French friends.
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