Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has slammed refereeing inconsistencies at the breakdown.
“The big problem I have is how things are interpreted at the breakdowns. I don’t understand the breakdowns,” De Villiers said on Monday.
Liam Del Carme writes in Beeld that South Africa and Scotland conceded a combined tally of 21 penalties in Saturday’s test at Murrayfield and both felt that referee Dave Pearson’s interpretations varied.
“There were three occasions where we controlled the play close to the goal-line and were penalised because our players did not stay on their feet. The fact that they did not stay on their feet did not influence play,” said De Villiers.
He believes the Boks are being disadvantaged because players are not being allowed to “clean-up” at the rucks.
“They are taking away all our sharpness and power. Rolling mauls have been taken away and hard play at the breakdowns is no longer allowed,” said De Villiers.
“We can’t use our power play. It has directly influenced our results.”
De Villiers is worried that coaches are not being listened to.
“You send them (the International Rugby Board) reports after games, but then you receive a response saying that it was the best performance yet by a referee,” he said.
“It is very frustrating. If they can be honest and admit there are areas in which they are struggling and we should accept that, you can at least work with the referees.”
Coaches also doubt that a conversation about interpretations prior to a game will have the desired effect.
“When you run on the field there is a different interpretation. That makes it difficult for us,” said De Villiers.
“The days you knew you would be stamped on for lying on the wrong side of the ruck are over. Now everybody just lies where they want to.”
De Villiers conceded it’s difficult to impart a philosophy of running rugby under the new laws.
“My big concern is that the new laws give the defending team an advantage,” he said.Tweet