Beast: Rassie’s video ‘was a masterclass’

Former Springbok prop Beast Mtawarira has thrown his support behind Rassie Erasmus for standing up to World Rugby and pointing out poor officiating during the B&I Lions series.

SA Rugby’s director of rugby was in hot water for compiling a 62-minute video in which he pointed out and broke down 26 errors made by referee Nic Berry in the first Test between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions.

Erasmus and SA Rugby were cited for bringing the game into disrepute this past weekend, but the hearing verdict has yet to be formally announced.

The video sent shockwaves across the rugby world and earned Erasmus equal praise and condemnation.

While appearing on ‘The Good, The Bad & The Rugby’ podcast, with James Haskell and Alex Payne, the 117-Test capped Springbok was asked about the controversial video.

“That was a masterclass,” said Mtawarira, with a laugh.

“It was factual, and I think it influenced the series in a big way. I must say, I wasn’t happy with the officiating in that first Test match.

“I understand the process of what happened after that, getting feedback from a referee in terms of scrums, if we get a few penalties we go ask, ‘What did we do wrong?’

“For Nic Berry to take so long, it’s got a big impact on selection. When you don’t give feedback in good time saying why we penalised you, why you didn’t get that 50-50 call, it hampers what you want to achieve.

“That’s what was frustrating, so I understand it from Rassie and Jacques Nienaber’s point of view.

“They wanted to select a team that will play to those strengths and not give penalties at the wrong time.”

Erasmus has denied responsibility after he was accused of leaking the video into the public domain, but in another twist it now appears that the clip was first leaked and viewed in Australia before it went viral on social media.

Erasmus maintains he only sent the video to Berry, SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux, the Springbok coaching staff and players, and World Rugby referee bosses Joel Jutge and Joe Schmidt.

World Rugby reportedly conceded that Erasmus was justified in 23 of the 26 errors highlighted in the video.

Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack