Rassie Erasmus has tactfully pointed out a single instance where the match officials made an incorrect call in the first Test against the Springboks and British & Irish Lions.
The Lions clinched a deserved 22-17 win in Cape Town after the Boks had capitulated in the second half.
There were, however, several contentious moments during the first Test, including Cheslin Kolbe being adjudged to have taken the ball out on the full when replays clearly showed he was played in the air and his right foot hit the ground inside the field before he was dragged into touch.
As it turned out, the Lions formed a driving maul from the subsequent lineout and, when the Boks infringed, the tourists won a crucial penalty.
On Monday, Erasmus highlighted the officials’ glaring error when he tweeted video footage of the incident, with the caption:
“Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!! More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!! Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, its reckless and dangerous! Leave this to the 🏥 🙏🏼.”
Erasmus also tagged the official World Rugby, British & Irish Lions and Springboks’ Twitter accounts, hoping to bring the incident to the attention of the authorities.
Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!!More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!! Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, its reckless and dangerous! Leave this to the 🏥 🙏🏼@WorldRugby @Springboks @lionsofficial pic.twitter.com/lEcp5L4PBf
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) July 26, 2021
Meanwhile, another social media storm erupted over Erasmus’ alleged use of a burner account on Twitter.
He has been vocal on Twitter since opening his official account in February 2020, but the SA director of rugby now is under suspicion for running a burner account – a fake profile used to voice opinions that one would be unwilling to express publicly – in order to highlight instances the Boks were unhappy with in the opening Test.
Erasmus retweeted a video from an anonymous account that showed a compilation of refereeing decisions that went against the South Africa, replying to the account saying: “Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes calls go for you and other times they don’t”.
His followers started speculating that the account sharing the video was Erasmus himself, using a fake account to voice his grievances and pretending to have a conversation with himself.
It was pointed out that the account had zero followers, but had access high-quality, unwatermarked footage that would be easily obtained by team management.
It was also highlighted the account’s only activity over the five years since it was created – 15 liked tweets – were all engagements with teams Erasmus was involved with at the time.