While the All Blacks regained some of their ‘street cred’ with a record 52-16 win over South Africa on Saturday, Irishman Alain Rolland impressed in his handling on the match.
While the All Blacks regained some of their ‘street cred’ with a record 52-16 win over South Africa in Pretoria on Saturday, Irishman Alain Rolland won a legion of new admirers with his handling of this, his first Tri-Nations refeering duty.
Already held in high esteem in this part of the world, the former Irish international scrum-half delivered a performance in the cauldron that is Securicor Loftus Stadium that had world class written all over it.
Rolland performed with quiet authority and the manner in which his decisions were accepted in turn speaks volumes about the esteem in which he is held by these elite athletes
His huge fitness level and experience as a former international allows him make the correct call or get to the focal point of the action before it can become a hot-spot as witnessed in that latter stages of the opening half.
The Blacks attacked down the right side through scrum-half Steve Devine and the try looked on. Devine threw a scoring pass inside to Carlos Spencer. It was marginally forward but had Spencer decided to off-load, Rolland was the nearest to him, perfectly positioned to make the close call.