Crusaders want neutral referees

Crusaders forwards coach Dave Hewett says Sanzaar should reinstate neutral referees in Super Rugby.

The former All Blacks prop was speaking after his side’s 43-37 win against the Lions in Johannesburg on Friday, which saw the home side awarded 13 penalties against the visitors’ six. South African referee Stuart Berry took charge of the match.

‘The problem that you have is when you get a referee from the city you’re playing in, there’s a massive crowd influence that comes in,’ Hewett told Newstalk ZB. ‘It’s something that is frustrating from a coaching point of view and can have a massive influence on the game.’

Hewett added that neutral referees would prevent post-match talk of referee bias.

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