‘Refs need sharper eyes’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about refereeing and Saturday's match at the Free State Stadium.


'You see it time and time again, the first three weekends of Super Rugby, it was all about the feed of the scrum not being straight. Now they've forgotten all about that. And foot up… I mean, [Stephen] Moore today, he put his foot up; it was in the middle of the scrum, and then the scrumhalf put the ball in. It happened on a number of occasions.

'And this other one is the contesting player in the air [at lineouts] is not going for the ball, he's going for the player or for the arm of the player to try and disturb the ball in the air. That, thankfully, was penalised a lot today, but I think you have to start looking for yellow cards for that, because you can't start tackling the person in the air to stop a maul being set up, which is what the players are doing.'

'It's the player who holds you back is the one who initiates the problem. It was absolutely the right decision to send him [Jean Deysel] off. I think a lot of what the All Blacks have done in the past is play players off the ball, hold players back, ruck past the ball and clear a player away and hold him so that he can't get into the defensive line, and that is one of the most irritating things on the field.

'South Africans, unfortunately, often get penalised for reacting, but what we need is sharper eyes from the referee to spot those indiscretions; the guys holding and pulling players back, because that's what causes the problems in the first place.'


'I think last weekend they were punished for their turnovers, they made very few turnovers today, and I think the loose trio were fantastic today. I thought [Heinrich] Brüssow was outstanding, Boom Prinsloo was exceptional, and [Teboho] Mohoje was brilliant in the lineout, and got some really good runs going as well. I think that made the difference.

'Their kicking game was a lot better today and I thought that they played territory far better.'

'There were two scrum penalties that caused the Brumbies coaching staff to make two substitutions. They were definitely dominating the scrums at the time and they didn't dominate in the last 20 minutes. They brought the two Smith brothers on and Coenie [Oosthuizen] started to look like a Test match tighthead. He went forward, they got a great right shoulder. So having been under severe pressure, they make the substitution and it played into the Cheetahs hands.'

Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

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