Rugby world cup
The Rugby World Cup is shaping
as a battle of wits between
referees determined to exert
greater control in key areas of
games and players who will take
advantage of any opportunities
afforded to them in the rule book.
International Rugby Board
referees chief Paddy O'Brien
announced a crackdown by
referees in "five key areas" — the
breakdown, scrum, the offside
line, mauls and foul play — saying
referees have "taken their foot off
the throat" in recent months.
Five days away from Friday's start
of this year's tournament, several
leading players weighed in this
weekend. They said the modern
game demands they play to the
letter of the law and they will take
advantage of any leniency
referees may show.