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.
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.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann has formally asked for “clarity” on certainly questionable rulings made by referee Jaco Peyper in their encounter with the Sharks last week.
Ackermann – who made it clear he is not blaming the match officials for the 23-37 loss in Durban, he laid at the door of a “poor start” by his side and “a lack of discipline” – has written to SANZAR Games Manager Lyndon Bray and South African referees’ boss Andrew Watson.
Governing body Sanzar has confirmed that Television Match Official Deon van Blommenstein made a critical error in awarding Cobus Reinach his try during the Cell C Sharks’ 31 / 16 win over the Vodacom Bulls in their Vodacom Super Rugby match in Durban on the weekend.
Sanzar referees boss Lyndon Bray confirmed the try – which led to repeated replays – should not have been awarded as the ball was knocked-on by Sharks lock Anton Bresler.
South Africans Craig Joubert and Jaco Peyper have been appointed by the International Rugby Board (IRB) to referee in next year’s Six Nations.
Jaco Peyper will referee the Currie Cup final between the Sharks and Western Province in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
Lyndon Bray, SANZAR Game Manager, said the appointments were made after a full season analysis of each official, which in turn saw referees rewarded with strong performances.
Scotland will be playing the first of their test matches on this years summer tour tomorrow, Tuesday 5th June, against Australia. The game will be played at Newcastle, seemingly this is the heart of rugby league country in Australia. Kick off is at 11.30 South African time.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder backed his team against charges of eye-gouging against the Bulls during their 32-30 Super Rugby loss on Saturday, saying he was concerned the new white card system could be manipulated.