It’s a semi-final between a SA side playing at home and a NZ franchise in the crown jewel of Southern Hemisphere club rugby – so obviously you want to make sure that it is absolutely fair.
Not if you’re Sanzaar you don’t.
You appoint South Africans to all 4 official positions!
I said last week that this was to risk controversy (Stop Messing About’ post) and Cassandra –like, my prediction turned out to be right.
Jaco Peyper and his helpers made at least three questionable calls – all three were game changing.
- Beauden Barrett’s yellow card was dubious – a penalty yes – but not 10 minutes off
- Not referring one Lion’s try that even on replay looked dodgy – the SA assistant ref telling Jaco that he had definitely seen the touchdown was not good enough – it should have gone to the TMO (despite him also being SA)
- The potential ‘knock on’ by the Lion’s before a try also gave them a massive benefit of the doubt.
Even Nick Mallett and Naas Botha said that the yellow for Barrett was harsh – it should be noted that the Lion’s scored two tries while he was in the bin.
Understandably the Hurricanes were unhappy about the decisions, but, to their credit, they simply said that they saw some of Peyper’s calls differently.
Dane Coles commented that they had enough chances in the first half to have put the game out of reach of the Lion’s, which would have made the refereeing controversies irrelevant.
Once again Sanzaar risked unnecessary problems – it was such an easy decision to go neutral that you wonder if they have a clue about anything.
Note to Andy Marinos – I can give you information, I can’t give you understanding!