Former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan says the Stormers have a right to be upset with the officiating in Wellington last Saturday.
The Stormers found themselves trailing 25-3 at half-time after conceding three controversial tries, and went on to lose 25-20.
'All three Canes tries had huge question marks over them – knock on, forward pass and illegal steal,' wrote Kaplan on ratetheref.co.za. 'All three decisions went in favour of the home team. At half-time the game was done.
'I do not believe the referee [Rohan Hoffmann] deliberately set out to have a poor day, but the consequence of this was a blow-out in score, with absolutely no recourse for the victims,' Kaplan added. 'It’s not great to be apologising in running as this does little to offset the frustration of the multitude of decisions that appeared to the players to be going against them. The white card [used in the Varsity Cup, which allows a captain to challenge a referee's decision] may have helped in part, but even then, the TMO didn’t rule the pass from [Nehe] Milner-Skudder as being forward.'
Kaplan also referred to the second-half incident that saw the Stormers penalised for 'changing lanes' when they looked set to score from a lineout driving maul.
'This is not new terminology and refers to the attacking team who do not power through the middle, thereby allowing the original maul to profit from poor defence. Instead, they use the back-end of their maul to go around the corner of the defence with the ball still held at the back. The referee had a fair point here. But the public does not seem to understand why this is not consistently refereed.'
Photo: Marty Melville/AFP Photo