Blue Bulls captain and flank Deon Stegmann was suspended for 1 week on Wednesday for striking a player with his elbow in their Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the EP Kings last Friday.
His Blue Bulls team mate, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, meanwhile, was cleared of further sanction after receiving a Yellow Card in the match for charging into a ruck without using his arms.
Stegmann and Mbonambi both appeared before a SARU judicial committee in Pretoria on Tuesday after being sent to the sin-bin in their clash in Port Elizabeth.
What a difference a week makes…
The Rugby Championship:
We saw 2 very good test matches, particularly the All Blacks vs Springboks game, played in the Cake Tin.
It was played at tempo for the duration of the match and was superbly refereed by Jerome Garces. Chalk and cheese between what we saw last week.
He seemed to be able to make his decisions with ease, without pressure, and for the most part they were well timed, and accurate. He added huge value to a compelling test match which was deservedly won by the All Blacks.
When I shared a laugh and a chat with Amy Perrett, nearly six months ago, she, like almost everyone else in women’s rugby, had her sights firmly trained on the World Cup in and around Paris during early August.
England subsequently claimed the trophy, and the tournament served to enhance the rapid growth the women’s game continues to enjoy.
Perrett is no stranger to rapid growth. Aged just 25, the Sydneysider has established herself as one of the top referees in the women’s game and a prize commodity for the Australian Rugby Union.
Back on that gloomy March afternoon in Edinburgh, where she was preparing to take control of a Six Nations clash between Scotland and France, she spoke softly of making the cut, of winning selection for the World Cup panel.
With the recent pedantic display of refereeing, it pains me to say that the World Cup could turn into a game of whistle-blowing, ruining the experience for the spectators and more importantly the players.
Some of the technical refereeing that has been on display has eliminated any “feel” for the game.
Right now, the blokes in the middle are trying to put on their best show to be chosen to get a gig in England in 2015. But who is judging their performance so they get to secure a position as a top whistle-blower?
SANZAR are looking to bring in a challenge system in order to combat refereeing errors, with each team allowed three per game.
Following in the footsteps of cricket and tennis, teams would be able to challenge a referee’s decision, while the TMO would be used only for these challenges, leaving the on-field referee to make the rest of the calls.
There are currently concerns that referees are hiding behind their TMOs at the moment, rather than making their own decisions, and the official in charge would now be responsible for deciding on tries and incidents of foul play.
The news comes after a weekend where both Rugby Championship games featured controversial refereeing decisions, with Argentina denied a perfectly good try when Pascal Gauzère called a knock-on on a charge-down from Leonardo Senatore.
The Rugby Championship is, many would argue, the pre-eminent event of its type outside the World Cup.
It may lack the history, and maybe even some of the ingrained tribalism of the Six Nations, but more often than not since 1996 it has featured the top three ranked teams in the world, and many of the best players on the planet.
It has produced some of the most thrilling, spectacular matches ever played, in front of some of the biggest crowds ever to watch the sport.
It is an elite showcase of the game, and it deserves better than what we saw at the weekend.
It has been widely acknowledged that the standard of refereeing in the Rugby Championship this past weekend was less than stellar. All lovers of the game, from fans through to coaches and players, are justifiably exasperated by such result-affecting calls by refs.
Sadly, this is not the first time and, probably, won’t be the last time the rugby world is incensed by sub-standard refereeing performances – unless something proactive is done to address what is a very real problem.
What is missing in all the blustery huffing and puffing though, are solutions or suggestions that the IRB (or World Rugby) can use to address the problem.
So here are my suggestions. My solutions. As just a passionate lover of the sport. See if you agree or disagree. Pick them apart. Point out their weaknesses. Tell me why they won’t work. No hard feelings. All I ask is that for every criticism, you offer an alternative solution.
Hopefully with all the traffic Rugby Talk.com is attracting these days, someone of influence will read all our comments and maybe… just maybe… do something positive with them.
I believe a three-part solution will sort out most of the issues but, like anything, there has to be the political will to address and sort out the problem instead of worrying about offending egos or apportioning blame.
France’s Jérôme Garcès will referee the All Blacks v Springboks Rugby Championship clash in Wellington on Saturday.
Following a weekend of highly debatable referee, assistant referee and TMO decisions, Heyneke Meyer will be hoping Saturday’s crucial clash is free of controversy.
The Springboks’ remaining Rugby Championship matches will be refereed by Wales’ Nigel Owens (v Australia at Newlands on 27 September) and by England’s Wayne Barnes (v New Zealand at Ellis Park on 4 October).
Do I really need to confirm what everyone else already knows… This was not a good weekend for referees!
We are operating in a system where I have said that these type of weekends are not avoidable and until key elements of the system are exposed, and then adequately addressed, this will continue into the future.
The referees are not getting it right, and it is pointless saying after the fact, that things need to be looked at, when the writing was on the wall from the get go.
Xerox Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann was close to tearing his hair out in frustration, not so much by the way his team stumbled to a 36-26 loss at the hands of the Vodacom Blue Bulls in their Absa Currie Cup encounter, but more by the refereeing decisions that negated his side’s normally strong scrum platform.
Ackermann called the contest “the most boring game” and admitted to being frustrated by referee Marius van der Westhuizen’s high penalty count – against both sides – at the set piece, that robbed the game of much momentum and made it a stop-start affair.
The Wallabies have at last beaten someone perched above them in the world rankings.
It has taken awhile.
But if the Australian players and management seriously start believing they are back on track then it’s time for them to take some ‘truth pills’.
Their one-point win over the Springboks was deeply flawed, exposed many of their inherent weaknesses including a lack of discipline, and showed their fundamental skills are at best average.
The Wallabies can also no longer carry on about being a luckless team, as they received the benefit of a string of dreadful decisions from referee George Clancy, who should have his whistle confiscated after such a diabolical performance. The Springboks have every right to cry foul as they were victims of numerous Clancy blunders.
It’s time out for Big Ben Tameifuna after New Zealand Rugby’s judiciary banned him five weeks for his shove on referee Glen Jackson last weekend.
Tameifuna shoved referee Glen Jackson in the 72nd minute of Waikato’s national provincial championship victory at North Harbour on Saturday.
Citing commissioner John Wootton reporter the incident after the match.
The Rugby Football Union have urged referees to take greater responsibility for decisions and avoid overusing television match officials.
Last season, officials were entitled to review footage of incidents of foul play and up to two phases before a try – but the knock-on effect of an increased number of stops in play quickly drew criticism.
The Match Officials for this week’s action have been confirmed, with George Clancy refereeing the Wallabies vs Springboks showdown.
The Rugby Championship:
Australia vs South Africa
- Venue: Patersons Stadium, Perth
- Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
- Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
- TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
- Assessor: Andrew Cole
New Zealand vs Argentina
- Venue: Mclean Park, Napier
- Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
- Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
- TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)
- Assessor: Lyndon Bray
Waikato prop Ben Tameifuna has been cited for acting against the spirit of good sportsmanship, after referee Glen Jackson was allegedly shoved.
The incident occurred during Waikato’s Week 3 NPC Cup match against North Habour at QBE Stadium on Saturday. The alleged incident occurred in the 72nd minute of the match when Jackson was knocked off his feet.
The incident was noted by Citing Commissioner John Wootton. Tameifuna has been cited under law 10.4 (m) which deems that a player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure. His case will be heard on Wednesday September 3, by Judicial Officer Chris Morris by video conference.
Watch the video below.
The NRL’s refereeing crisis went from bad to worse on Friday night, after a ridiculous sin-binning of Brisbane backrower Matt Gillett for an offside call that Phil Gould labelled “the greatest clanger I’ve ever seen”.
After Benji Marshall restarted from a penalty and sprinted towards the Brisbane defence where he was tackled by Justin Hodges, referee Ben Cummins called Gillett offside — even though he had retired almost 30m back after Marshall’s quick tap.
Watch the video here.
Jonathan Kaplan has questioned whether the Springboks understand the nuances at scrums and breakdowns.
Despite winning 33-31 in Salta at the weekend, the Bok front row suffered humiliation at the hands of Argentina, with the reputations of Jannie du Plessis and Gurthro Steenkamp taking serious body blows.
Kaplan noted this when he analysed the Boks’ performance on his website, www.ratetheref.co.za.
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.