Auckland – New Zealand rugby is claiming its second referee apology in a week, with Craig Joubert said to have admitted he was wrong with a ruling that probably cost the Crusaders the Super Rugby crown.
The Waratahs won a tense final three weeks ago in Sydney 33-32, with the winning points coming from a penalty when flank Richie McCaw was penalised for entering a ruck from the side with a minute remaining in the match.
Had the kick missed, the Crusaders would have had possession and would have been unlikely to yield their 32-29 lead with time almost up.
The performance of Romain Poite in this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup re-match will be under more scrutiny than ever after provocative comments from the All Blacks and Poite’s contemporary Jonathan Kaplan this week.
Kaplan, who refereed 68 Test matches, including seven Bledisloe Cup battles to become the most experienced international referee before his retirement last year, opened the batting with a defence of Jaco Peyper, who has come under fire for his officiating of the Wallabies’ 12-12 draw in Sydney last week.
It was no consolation at all to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that a post-game meeting with last week’s referee Jaco Peyper yielded a frank “mea culpa” from the South African whistle-blower.
Hansen factored a poor refereeing performance into the contributing reasons for a sub-par All Black performance in last week’s 12-12 draw with the Wallabies in Sydney to open the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup series.
While the atrocious weather conditions played a significant role in a low-scoring affair at Loftus Versfeld, I believe Argentina underlined their notoriety as the most negative side in world rugby in every single area of play.
Not only were they cynical in conceding a plethora of penalties, the way they scrummed, contested the line-outs and mauls, and the number of off-the-ball incidents – in my view the most cowardice of acts – was infuriating to behold.
I would suggest that the underhand tactics employed by the visitors during the match were entirely pre-planned, with talk of embracing a new era and playing “more rugby” a well-rehearsed ruse.
IF Wallabies fans were dismayed by the whistle-happy performance of referee Jaco Peyper last weekend, they will be equally alarmed to hear that Frenchman Romain Poite is in charge of Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup return bout in Auckland.
Poite controlled last year’s big third Test defeat to the British & Irish Lions in a game in which the Wallabies front row was hammered by the referee.
Following a successful return to the Currie Cup Premier Division last weekend, Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has opted for continuity in his selections for Friday’s match against defending champions the Sharks in Durban.
Stonehouse made a single change to the run-on side that beat the Free State Cheetahs 28-21 in Mbombela over the weekend.
Retired South African referee Jonathan Kaplan says the Crusaders can feel hard done by after a late penalty cost them the Super Rugby title.
The Waratahs beat the Crusaders 33-32 in the Super Rugby final in Sydney last Saturday courtesy of a late penalty by flyhalf Bernard Foley.
The Crusaders looked headed for their eighth Super Rugby crown when flyhalf Colin Slade put them in front with a penalty in the 76th minute.
South African Craig Joubert, the referee of the 2011 World Cup final between the All Blacks and France, has been appointed to control the final.
He will be assisted by Australians Steve Walsh and James Leckie.
The final will be contested between the Waratahs and the Crusaders in Sydney, Australia on Saturday the 2nd of August.
The Eastern Province Rugby Referees Society will return to adjudicating Eastern Province Rugby Union club matches with immediate effect, after the EPRU cancelled all club games last weekend over the poor treatment of referees.
Eastern Province Rugby Union President, Cheeky Watson, confirmed that he had met with the referees last week to address their concerns.
SANZAR has appointed the referees for Saturday’s Semi-Finals. Jaco Peyper will referee in Sydney, Glen Jackson in Christchurch.
The Crusaders are the only team that played in the 2013 Semi-Finals.
In 2013 the referees for the Semi-Finals were Steve Walsh for the Chiefs vs Crusaders and Craig Joubert for the Vodacom Bulls vs the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld.
In 2013 Peyper and Jackson were both involved in the Play-Off’s – Peyper for Crusaders vs Reds and Jackson for the Brumbies vs Toyota Cheetahs.
Following concerns raised by the Eastern Province Rugby Referees Society relating to the conduct towards them at club matches, the Eastern Province Rugby Union has decided to cancel all club matches this weekend.
“We initially received a notification from the Referees Society today that they were downing tools due to the ongoing harassment that their members were exposed to at club games.
While we do not condone the method in which the referees dealt with the issue – as we have protocols in place to deal with such matters – following discussions held with representatives from the referees we have decided to cancel all games this coming weekend in sympathy with their concerns,” said EPRU President, Cheeky Watson.
Very seldom, before, during or after a rugby match does the spotlight not fall on the referee. Supporters of the losing team will in all probability at some stage lay the blame on the man with the whistle, it’s human nature, and not even the winning side’s supporters agree with all the decisions made during most matches. It’s the nature of the beast and referees know full well that this is one of the pitfalls of their chosen profession.
Seldom however has controversy followed a referee as it has for Steve Walsh.
Sanzar has announced that South Africa’s Craig Joubert and Steve Walsh from Australia will referee the two Vodacom Super Rugby Qualifiers this weekend.
Joubert will be the man in the middle in Canberra, where the Brumbies host the Chiefs, while Walsh will be in action in Durban in the second Qualifier between the Cell C Sharks and the Highlanders.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for the last Open Round of Super Rugby 2014, Round 19.
Glen Jackson starts the weekend off when the Blues host the Chiefs at Eden Park, Auckland.
This weekend sees 7 games, 3 on Friday and 4 on Saturday.
The Hurricanes have a BYE weekend.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 18 of Super Rugby 2014.
Nick Briant starts the action at Waikato Stadium when the Chiefs host the Hurricanes on Friday at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT) .
This weekend sees 7 matches, with 2 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 game on Sunday.
The Brumbies have a BYE weekend.
After this Round, a full 113 matches would already have been played in Super Rugby 2014.
Wales prop Samson Lee has been banned for five weeks for a headbutt on Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe.
The incident occurred in the 55th minute of the second Test between Wales and South Africa in Nelspruit last Saturday.
South Africa won the match 31-30.
The International Rugby Board has named the Match Officials for SANZAR’s The Rugby Championship in August and September. A new face amongst them is John Lacey of Ireland.
Lacey has become increasingly prominent this year and last Friday refereed the Test in Cordoba between Argentina and Scotland.
He is an e at -player – a wing or fullback for Munster and Ireland A. His debut for Munster was in 1995 against Transvaal. He played till 2007 when he retired and then became a referee. In 2008 he was refereeing club rugby in the Amlin Cup and the Magners League. In 2009 the IRB chose him as an international assistant referee. In 2010 he replaced injured Greg Gardner at the Junior World Championship where he refereed a semifinal. The next year he was on the international panel as a referee. Now he is going to Loftus Versfeld to referee a Test between the Springboks and the Pumas.
The last Championship matches are on 4 October 2014, the Bledisloe Cup match a fortnight later.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 17 of Super Rugby 2014.
Garratt Williamson starts the action in Dunedin when the Highlanders host local rivals the Chiefs.
This weekend sees 5 games, with 2 on Friday and 3 on Saturday.
All 5 the South African Franchises sit out this weekend, after they started a week early in February.
After completion of this Round, the Logs will be put in proper perspective, with Conferences on the same number of WEEKS in the 2014 competition.
Judicial Officer, Christopher Quinlan has on Saturday deferred his verdict in the citing of Wales prop Samson Lee.
The Springboks have no problems with the appointment of the man who may have cost them the chance of winning last year’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship for Saturday’s test against Wales in Durban.
French referee Romain Poite was almost as big a talking point at one stage of 2013 as New Zealand match official Bryce Lawrence was towards the end of 2011. Poite’s decision to first yellow card Bismarck du Plessis during the opening half for a dangerous tackle on All Black flyhalf Dan Carter was followed by a red when Du Plessis was found guilty of another offence at the start of the second.
A referee from the Blue Bulls referees association is recovering in hospital after allegedly being assaulted following a club game in Gardens, Pretoria.
Marais van Zyl was hit over the head by a crash helmet and is recovering in the Montana hospital in Pretoria.
It is believed he was attacked by two supporters who were upset with his performance during the game.
Craig Joubert, is only 36 years old but on Saturday he became the seventh referee in the history of rugby union football to referee 50 Tests, the third one to do so this year.
It’s a long way from the days when the most capped referee had 11 Tests in a seven-year international career. Now with Tests from February to December there are many more chances.
Joubert is the second South African to reach 50, after Jonathan Kaplan who was the first in rugby history to do so. After Kaplan came Chris White of England, Alain Rolland of Ireland and Steve Walsh of New Zealand and then Australia. Then came the 2014 trio – Wayne Barnes of England, Nigel Owens of Wales and Craig Paul Joubert of South Africa.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 16 of Super Rugby 2014.
Mike Fraser starts the weekend’s action in Christchurch when the Crusaders host the Western Force.
This weekend sees 7 matches, with 2 games on Friday and 5 on Saturday.
The Toyota Cheetahs have a BYE weekend.
Top retired referee Jonathan Kaplan has called on referees to stamp out the illegal tactic of holding players back in rugby games.
Much of the attention these past few days has been focused on the red card given to Sharks flanker Jean Deysel and his three-week ban for making contact with the face of a Crusaders player out of frustration as his leg was being held.
But there has been little attention to the fact that the tactic of illegally tackling players away from the ruck, or holding onto them is the problem that often causes the frustration for players and causes them to lash out.
While not trying to justify Deysel’s actions, there is an increasing tendency for teams in Vodacom Super Rugby – particularly those from New Zealand – to use the tactic of holding players back, or use up the space in front of the ball, allowing the ball carrier to slip in behind. It does seem to be an Australasian tendency that is slowly increasing in Super Rugby this year.
Jean Deysel of the Sharks received a red card for foul play during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
He was cited following the game.
Deysel is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (b) Stamping or trampling. The incident occurred during the match between the Crusaders and Sharks at AMI Stadium, Addington in Christchurch on Saturday 17 May 2014. The referee for the match, Rohan Hoffman, issued a red card for the incident which occurred in the 16th minute.
Ed O’Donoghue of the Reds received a red card for foul play during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
He was cited foollowing the match.
O’Donoghue is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (m) Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. The incident occurred during the match between the Reds and Rebels at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 17 May 2014. The referee for the match, Steve Walsh, issued a red card for the incident which occurred in the 79th minute.
Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis praised the character of his team, after overcoming an early red card to beat the Crusaders on New Zealand soil for the first time.
Replacement Kyle Cooper scored a 75th-minute try to lift a Sharks team – reduced to 14 men for 63 minutes and to 13 during the second half – to a 30-25 win – the first win by South African team over the Crusaders in New Zealand since the Cats last did so in Nelson in 2001.
Cooper’s try forced the fifth and final lead change of the second half, clinching the Shark’s ninth win in 12 matches.
Flank Jean Deysel was shown a red card in the 17th minute for a vicious, off-the-ball stomp on the face of Crusaders back row forward Jordan Taufua – who, at the time was holding back the Sharks player, a tactic that went unpunished, despite continuously being employed by the Kiwi players throughout the match.
Queensland Reds captain James Horwill has criticised the growing influence of television officials on the game after a controversial decision ensured his side lost their sixth successive Super Rugby match on Saturday.
Reds forward Ed O’Donoghue was sent off for eye gouging in the last minute of his side’s 30-27 loss to the Melbourne Rebels, but only after television official Steve Lescinski told referee Steve Walsh to review the incident after play had moved downfield.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 14 of Super Rugby 2014.
Garratt Williamson starts the weekend action in Wellington when the Hurricanes plays the Highlanders.
This weekend sees 6 matches, with 1 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.
The Blues, Vodacom Bulls and the Chiefs have BYE weekends.
New Zealander Chris Pollock will be the referee when the Stormers host the Western Force in a Super Rugby clash at Newlands this Saturday (17:05 SA Time).
Pollock will be assisted by South Africans Marius Jonker and Quinton Immelman, with Shaun Veldsman on television match official (TMO) duty.
Highlanders prop Chris King is a very lucky man to get away with a one-week ban for hitting Lions captain Warren Whiteley in the face.
King was cited for the incident, which happened in the 54th minute of Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby game between the two sides in Dunedin and received a yellow card from match officials shortly after the incident.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 13 of Super Rugby 2014.
We see 7 games this weekend, with 2 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.
Mike Frazer strats the weekend action in the game between the Chiefs and Blues in New Plymouth.
The Waratahs have their BYE weekend.
Reds prop James Slipper and Highlanders hooker Brayden Mitchell were both handed three-week bans for spear tackles at the weekend.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 12 of Super Rugby 2014.
Nick Briant starts the weekend action on Friday in Auckland when the Blues host the Reds.
This weekend sees 7 matches, with 2 on Friday and 5 on Saturday.
The Western Force have a BYE weekend, ahead of their tour of South Africa.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 11 of Super Rugby 2014.
Chris Pollock starts the weekend action in the game between the Blues and Waratahs, in Auckland.
This weekend sees 3 games on Friday and 3 games on Saturday.
The Crusaders, Lions and Melbourne Rebels have BYE weekends.