Prominent ex-Test referee Jonathan Kaplan has joined the chorus calling for scrutiny of the Crusaders scrumming action after their win over the Toyota Cheetahs last weekend.
The Crusaders scrum has dominated in their contests against both the Emirates Lions and Cheetahs in their 2 Vodacom Super Rugby games over the past fortnight, and in both cases it seems as if the scrum – and All Black prop Wyatt Crockett in particular – have gotten away with murder.
Crockett’s supposed dominance in the scrum has seen both Julian Redelinghuys and Coenie Oosthuizen, both Springbok props, being sin-binned during the game and a plethora of penalties given against their teams by referees who believe the tighthead can’t handle the pressure when the loosehead packs down.
But on a number of occasions – and ironically picked up by both former All Blacks Jeff Wilson and Justin Marshall – the scrum has never packed down straight.
This weekend saw the finale of The Rugby Championship and we saw two very contrasting games. The All Blacks won the trophy… again. Deservedly.
The Pumas won their first ever fixture in this tournament, a historical moment and one they will never forget… I certainly won’t, but the highlight had to be the bromance in the coaches box after the game where their Latin exuberance, warmth and hot blooded nature got the better of some of them… Put it this way, there was lots of lovin!!
SARugbymag asked some experts on their thoughts on tomorrow’s clash between the Springboks and All Blacks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jonathan Kaplan who will be retiring after the Currie Cup will go out in style as he has been announced as the referee for the Currie Cup final between The Sharks and DHL Western Province on Saturday.
Record-breaking South African test referee Jonathan Kaplan will retire from professional refereeing at the end of the 2013 South African season.
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.