Take a bow, Tim Baker. Eddie Jones believes you are one of the best referees in Asia and should have been in charge of the last game in the Asia Rugby Championship between Hong Kong and Japan even though you are a Hong Kong referee. Japan’s national coach has called for the best referees in Asia to be in charge of the Top Three competition in the future and pooh-poohed the idea that a neutral referee should always be in place. A neutral referee is an oxymoron. Jones was impressed with Baker’s handling of the first match between Japan and South Korea. Why spoil a good game by appointing a referee who might not be as competent simply because he does not come from Japan or Hong Kong. Jones expressed his view on the eve of last Saturday’s encounter. He would have felt justified after the game was abandoned due to the deluge that fell on Aberdeen Sports Ground. Jones made clear in no uncertain terms that the game should have gone on. Would Baker have ruled differently than the referee from the United Arab Emirates? I doubt it. As Hong Kong head coach Andy Hall described it, “common sense prevailed”. Hall, with his flowing locks, only needed a scraggy beard and he would have been perfect for the role of Noah as he stood on the pitch with the water flowing around his ankles. “It would have been a struggle to have a boat out there let alone play rugby,” was the prophetic view from Hall. But I disagree with his view that Hong Kong might still have finished second, even if the match had gone ahead. Hall believed Japan would not have been able to win with a 29-point margin which was the point differential between Hong Kong and third-placed South Korea. The way Japan began, putting Hong Kong’s line under siege in the 13 minutes of play available, it would have been hard to see how the home team could have prevented tries being scored. What Hall might not have taken into account was the motivation of the Japanese, the majority of whom were playing for their World Cup spots. Jones is set to bring back 10 players who missed the Asia Rugby Championship – six plying their trade in Super Rugby and four returning from injury – into his World Cup squad. That means almost half of the squad that turned up at Aberdeen will be weeded out. It’s a real shame the large crowd was deprived of the chance to see a good game of rugby. Mother Nature was up to her cruel tricks and it was certainly a night when that little world at Aberdeen turned watery. If he was rugby’s Noah, we wonder who Hall would have picked from the men’s and women’s teams to enter his ark that night. For the woman, it was easily fullback Adrienne Garvey. For the man, Hall had only 13 minutes to make up his mind. Not easy.