Bryan Habana’s try for the Bulls in their Super 14 match against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday should not have been awarded.
News 24 reports that former Test referee Tappe Henning says he thought Willie Roos made a mistake by allowing the Super 14 champions to win back the ball illegally from a ruck just before the Springbok wing scored his try.
“My initial observation was that the Bulls had not won the ball legally,” said Henning, who is assisting the SA Rugby Union by training referees to apply the new experimental laws.
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus said after his team’s 16-9 defeat that a Bulls player had kicked the ball out of the hands of the Stormers scrumhalf, Ricky Januarie.
At a function prior to the match on Saturday, when the laws were explained to journalists, Henning and Saru’s chief of referees, Andre Watson, invited media representatives to enquire about incidents.
On Sunday, Henning said he still had to check video footage. However, he confirmed that Roos had erred in the way he applied the experimental laws.
Erasmus was unhappy about the slowing down of play at breakdown points. “This match was the only one (of the weekend’s Super 14 fixtures) in which the ball emerged so slowly from breakdown points,” he said.
“In all the other matches free-kicks were awarded or the ball came back quickly.
“When the ball is not emerging for up to six seconds, it means someone is holding on to it. I enjoy the experimental laws but not the way the breakdown points turned out in our match.”
Henning said the feeling was that referees should be quicker to award free-kicks. “Willie waited too long,” he added.
Erasmus, when asked why the Stormers had not moved the ball wide in the second half, pointed to the slow possession his team had gained.
Habana’s try shortly before half-time was a major setback for the home team and had a strong influence on the result.
“It’s a big setback it you’re leading 9-0 and suddenly the score is 9-7,” Erasmus said.
However, he conceded that the Stormers had not converted enough of their opportunities in the first half.Tweet