Poor refereeing overshadows MK’s victory over Tadley

editorial image

Milton Keynes Rugby Club battled hard against Tadley, coming away with a 20-0 victory though it was the referee who threatened to steal the headlines.

MK had come away from all of their previous games against Tadley on the winning side but for whatever reason, the games have been scrappy and Saturday’s game was no exception.

Both sides were left questioning some of the referee’s decisions after the game. Shortly after kick off, Darren Broddrick was elbowed in the face, though the offender went unpunished.

After a few minutes receiving treatment, Broddrick continued play and in answer to Tadley’s very poor style of play ran half the length of the field with some great hand-offs to score in the left-hand corner, putting MK 5-0 up.

Following some excellent rucking and a well worked series of moves by the pack, the ball came wide with Rob Matthews coming in from full back and a very clean run, and a well times pass to Gavin Whitehead saw MK cross the line once again in the opposite corner, this too going unconverted.

Play was all too often broken up though, with the referee making some strange and incomprehensible decisions. Tadley were very fast at the break down and won many turnover balls, and although they broke wide the defence from MK was superb and they never broke the line.

The visitors continued to attack and following some excellent rucking and a well-timed pass from Rob Lasbrey to captain and fly half Phil Powell who slotted a drop-goal cleanly through the posts to build a 13-0 lead they took in at half time.

In the second half, Tadley were provided some fearsome play but the MK defence held firm. Tim Parkinson and John Marchbank both took to the field at half time with Marchbank getting stuck in with some excellent tackles, proving his mettle at the highest level. Parkinson won a penalty after taking a high tackle, and pushed Tadley deep into their own half. After a well-worked move, Phil Powell went in under the posts and converted his own try to put MK 20-0 up.

Parkinson then received a yellow card for an alleged high tackle, with the referee citing repeat infringement forgetting that he had been on the receiving end moments earlier and was not a repeat infringer.

The game descended to its lowest level with Dave Brown taking a fierce punch to the cheek bone opening a huge gash below the right eye with the referee not talking to the Tadley players.

At one stage in the second half, the MK coach Kevin Papworth considered taking the team off the park as the game was descending into a melee with the referee not in control and the Tadley crowd baying for blood. The result though was enough to see MK go home with a smile on their faces.

MK have a home game this week in the league versus Wallingford.