The result of a recent reader poll has produced a shock result as more than half of respondents called for harsh sanctions against the Springboks.
Readers were polled to establish what they thought would be the most just outcome of the current misconduct case against Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby.
The hearing, which commenced on Tuesday, is the result of charges brought against SA Rugby and their director of rugby after Erasmus produced a 62-minute video in which he criticised match officials during the recently completed three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions.
Erasmus questioned a series of discrepancies in the first Test and, in the aftermath, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Australia have since encouraged World Rugby to make an example of him. There have been calls for Erasmus to be handed a lengthy suspension from the game, a fine for SA Rugby and some have even suggested that South Africa could be stripped of their series win.
Despite an earlier poll which revealed that 85% of SARugbymag.co.za readers believed Erasmus was perfectly justified in publicly airing his grievances, the most recent poll – which asked what sanctions readers would be satisfied with from the misconduct hearing – returned a shuddering result.
While former Springbok coach and selector Ian McIntosh did not endorse Erasmus’ actions, he believes the director of rugby should be commended. But according to almost 52% of SARugbymag.co.za poll respondents (with nearly 6,000 votes), the world champion Springboks should be stripped of their series win over the Lions!
A further 10.5% felt that Erasmus and SA Rugby were in the wrong – made up of 6.5% who believe the two parties should apologise while 4% deem SA Rugby liable for a fine.
These respondents were opposed by 35% of those polled (with over 4,000 votes) who believe World Rugby is at fault and should issue a public apology for its role in the controversy.