UGLY scenes between players and officials marred what was a quality game of rugby union between Brothers and Colts in Rockhampton last night.
With about 20 minutes left on the clock, the female referee, who wished to remain unnamed, was forced to call time off early with the scores locked at 19-all.
After allegedly copping a torrent of abuse from both sides, she decided she had given both sides sufficient warning and unfortunately called it.
She was seen at least three times talking to both captains instructing them to watch their players language, but the message did not go through.
The referee was visibly emotional after the match and declined to comment to the Morning Bulletin about the game.
While both coaches weren't happy to share points they could understand the reasoning behind her decision. Apart from the incidents, both coaches thought the standard of refereeing had been more than acceptable.
"The ref was good, there was nothing wrong with the calls made," Colts coach Frank Busby said.
"I have no qualms with the referee calling it off early.
"They are given a whistle and red cards for a reason, so if you get enough of a spray maybe they should be sent off first. But at the end of the day you can't speak to a referee regardless if they are a man or woman."
Brothers coach Shaun Curtis agreed with his opposition calling it a solid performance with calls going "both ways".
It had been a see-sawing contest prior to the premature ending, and Busby believed his side would have finished the stronger.
"It was a good tough game, I think we were just starting to get back on top of them," the Colts coach said.
"The whole second half bar the first two minutes, we seemed to slowly but surely be grinding them down and begin to dominate. I think we would have gone away with the win.
"It would have been good to get the full points though. We are just starting to put everything together now, we were a bit radical and I think it was working on them."
"She was good, there was nothing wrong with her refereeing. All referees in town are a little different to each other, if they could be a bit more similar. We had her out in Moura and she was great. I have no qualms with her calling it off early, if she wasn't happy then it is her decision.
"They are given a whistle and red cards for a reason, if you get enough of a spray I think they should be sent off first. You cant speak that way to a referee regardless if they are a man or woman.
"The forwards, the backs, they all played well. Toku and Kendall Heke were great, as well as Alistar Hirst and Denzel Mooney, we had players out of positions everywhere but they all put their hands up."
Despite missing star flyhalf Lee Anderson through Queensland Country duties, Curtis thought his revamped line-up did well, well enough to get all five points.
"We certainly missed a couple of players who were unavailable this week, they would have brought some more composure and patience to the game but with a bit more time we might have come over the top of them," he said.
"Fullback Brandon Fourie was good and scored all our points today, Anthony Pearce in our front row, his brother Daniel at number 8e and outside centre Thomas Cox were very sharp.
"It was a really good tussle I thought, we were good in some aspects, and struggled others."
The Morning Bulletin is still seeking comment from the Central Queensland Rugby Union association. More to follow.
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