Habana defends Erasmus’ social media activity

Bryan Habana has questioned why Rassie Erasmus was criticised for his social media activity with Warren Gatland praised for putting pressure on the match officials before the first Lions series Test.

The buildup to this past Saturday’s first Test between the Springboks and Lions was dominated by the Lions’ reported angry reaction to Jonker being appointed as the series TMO, after Brendon Pickerill had to withdraw due to travel issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jonker and referee Nic Berry made a few contentious calls in the first Test on Saturday, which Erasmus himself highlighted with video clips on social media.

However, while Gatland was portrayed as being clever in his use of the media to put pressure on the officiating team, Erasmus has been criticised for bringing the game into disrepute with his use of social media.

Speaking on Sky Sports ahead of the second Test between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions, former Springbok wing Habana defended Erasmus for using Twitter to raise questions of a few calls made during the first Test.

“We’re easy to judge in terms of things which are potentially uncommon to us as rugby fans,” Habana said.

“Gatland has a big hoorah in the media about a South African TMO and everyone finds that OK.

“Rassie voices his opinion where he can voice it, which is social media, and he’s got a few thousand on his lips.

“I don’t think it’s a mental thing or mind games. Rassie is extremely astute in terms of his rugby knowledge and you don’t want it to get dragged out into the public and look like a raucous.

“But if Gatland can potentially moan about a TMO, and then Rassie moans about that, is it not subjective opinion?

“Rassie felt Twitter was his platform that he needed to voice something on, and when he did it last week it was seen as a joke, but all of a sudden he does it this week and it’s seen as cynical, which is difficult.

“I don’t mind it. I think it adds entertainment to the game.

“How he does it and how it’s interpreted depends on what colour lenses you’re watching it from.”

Photo: Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack