Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has been accused of poisoning the series against the British & Irish Lions with a controversial 62-minute video that showed he does not “know the laws”.
SA Rugby’s director of rugby was in hot water for compiling a video in which he pointed out and broke down 26 errors made by referee Nic Berry in the first Test between the Springboks and B&I Lions.
Erasmus and SA Rugby were cited for bringing the game into disrepute in the last weekend of October, but the hearing verdict has yet to be formally announced.
The video sent shockwaves across the rugby world and earned Erasmus equal praise and condemnation.
In a column for The Times, celebrated Welsh rugby journalist Stephen Jones wrote a scathing assessment of the saga, accusing Erasmus of poisoning the entire series and getting the facts wrong in the video.
“Previously, he was regarded as one of rugby’s great men. But in July, he became the man who poisoned a Lions series,” Jones wrote in a column.
“In the video, Erasmus also exonerated himself from an accusation that by racing round the field during the Lions series acting as a water-carrier — conducting frequent mini-coaching seminars in breaks in play and generally roaring at his players — he had infringed the spirit of the regulations. In addition, to many of us, he looked a right royal prat.
“The Erasmus tape contributed to one of the most embittered of the 10 Lions tours I have followed, and there is no doubt in my mind that he affected play in both subsequent matches, won by South Africa,” Jones added.
“On the tape, Erasmus listed 26 calls that he claimed were errors. Incidentally, none was among the errors Berry may have made that hurt the Lions cause. I ran through the ‘errors’ with an international rugby official. His opinion is that six of the calls may have been wrong, more were simply 50-50, and in others, Erasmus did not appear to know the laws. The majority were correct.”
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