Siya Kolisi has supported SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus’ claims that the Springbok captain was disrespected by the officiating team during the first Test against the British & Irish Lions.
On Thursday morning, a video of Erasmus highlighting in detail a number of officiating inconsistencies, including instances where he felt officials showed the South Africans a lack of respect, went viral on social media.
This comes in the week following the first Test between South Africa and Lions, where Erasmus brought attention to some of the calls that went against the Boks.
In one of the clips, Erasmus accused Nic Berry of showing a lack of respect to Kolisi, saying the Australian referee paid far more attention to Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones.
Kolisi, together with Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, addressed the issue during Friday’s ‘captain’s run’ press conference on the eve of the second Test, supporting Erasmus.
“I didn’t feel respected. I didn’t feel I was given a fair opportunity” Kolisi said.
Kolisi was later asked to substantiate his claims and speak about how exactly he wasn’t shown respect by Berry.
“Have you watched the [Rassie] video? Watch the video and we can speak about it,” he answered.
“I don’t really want to get into it, to be honest, but we can speak about it after the game. I’ll speak about anything with the game but I don’t want to get involved in that. I didn’t feel I had the same access to the referee and there’s proof if you watch the game again, you will definitely be able to see for yourself.
“I don’t want to speak too much about that. It has already happened, there’s nothing I can do about it, it’s not going to change anything. Our focus is on the next game.”
Looking to Saturday’s decisive second Test, Kolisi said he was eagerly anticipating working with Ben O’Keeffe, who will be the man in charge at Cape Town stadium.
“I am looking forward. It’s a new game, a new referee so I am looking forward to it. I think Ben will give a fair opportunity to both captains.”