Le Cap (AFP)
South African rugby manager Rassie Erasmus posted a 62-minute video sharply criticizing the refereeing in the first test last Saturday against the British and Irish Lions.
The video, posted to the online platform Vimeo, contains 36 clips which Erasmus says show errors by Australian referee Nic Berry and other officials in the Lions’ 22-17 game.
Berry and the three other officials will also take care of the second test in Cape Town on Saturday.
New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe will replace Berry at the whistle while Berry and Mathieu Raynal from France will serve as assistant referees.
South African Marius Jonker, who was the subject of much criticism and abuse online after the first test, will once again be the referee of the televised match.
Erasmus could face sanctions from World Rugby for its harsh criticism.
He accuses Berry of disrespecting Springboks captain Siya Kolisi, claiming Berry paid much more attention to Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones.
Erasmus said he wanted to “get some clarification” from Berry last Sunday, but Berry was only available on Tuesday, making it difficult for the Springboks to incorporate some of the interpretations into their preparation for Saturday’s second test.
He alleges the Lions may have gotten away with offenses Berry specifically stated in a pre-game briefing would not be allowed.
Erasmus said the video was made in a personal capacity.
“I don’t know what the answer will be,” he said, but added that if World Rugby wanted to take action against him, he would step down from the team’s leadership if necessary.
– ‘It’s frustration’ –
“It’s frustration,” he said. “We have been waiting for this series for 12 years. “
Erasmus said there were three aspects the Springboks asked the arbitration panel:
+ “Do not let the Lions disarm us during melees and mauls
+ “Show the same respect to both teams
+ “(Tell the Springboks) the areas of concern to the Lions”
Erasmus accused Lions coach Warren Gatland of exerting “undue” pressure on South African TV match official Jonker, which he said may have influenced key decisions including including an essay refused by Willie le Roux.
Erasmus admitted that several of the clips he highlighted were decisions that could have gone one way or the other – but he also thought important calls were going against the world champions.
These include a spear tackle from Hamish Watson on Le Roux, who he said should have been punished with “nothing less than a yellow card” which would have meant the Lions would have played 10 of the Last 17 minutes with just 14 men.
He also said there were two incidents in the last stroke of the game, when the Springboks desperately tried to score a try to tie the game, which could have resulted in penalties against the Lions.
© 2021 AFP