Clip 1 - 9 March 2020 - Law 4

Colour Confusion

There are several colours to the rainbow but when the Bulls played the Highlanders it seemed that there only two - mainly blue but with some white dividing lines.

This went on for the whole of the first half, but during the break, the Bulls changed into white jerseys with some yellow lines, and the match became easier for match officials and spectators - and also for players who said afterwards that the confusion produced uncertainty. (Is that man in blue running near me a team-mate or an opponent?)

There is nothing in the laws about this and, in heaven's name, surely there is no need for it to be covered by law, any more than there is a need to say that boots are to be won on feet and not on hands. It is old Law 28 - common-sense.

Even if SANZAAR's jersey cards were an inadequate representation of the colours, even if the players warmed up in jerseys other than their match-day jerseys, even if the captains wore tops at the tossing of the coin, there must surely have been an awareness of the colour clash when the teams lined up.

Could the referee have played a part?

Obviously, there are other people who should have seen to avoiding the clash, but the referee could have called timeout as soon as he was aware of the difficulties and investigated the possibility of a solution. As usual, a referee can only react to what others have done or neglected to do.

What happened at Loftus Versfeld when the Bulls played the Blues did no credit at all to rugby's professionalism. It's a game, not a farce.

There was an occasion at Loftus Versfeld when one team had blue jerseys and so did the referee. Somebody asked the chairman of Blue Bulls referees how many colours of the rainbow there are, and the chairman - Tappe Henning - replied: "Here in Pretoria all the colours of the rainbow are blue." advert