Stormers captain Schalk Burger did not endear himself to officialdom with his ungracious post-match outburst, after the Stormers lost 17-25 to the Bulls in the Super 14 Final at the weekend.
Rugby 365 reports that Burger may well face a formal sanction, for his criticism of referee Craig Joubert, after his team’s defeat in the Orlando Stadium.
The decision whether Burger should be charged will be made at a later stage.
The Stormers captain was scathing in his assessment of the referee, Joubert, and expressed his disappointment in both his post-match TV interview and at the media conference later.
“It was pretty disappointing, I thought the Bulls and us were playing two different sets of breakdown rules,” Burger said, adding: “We couldn’t get momentum going, which was really disappointing.”
Burger later repeated his attack on the referee’s rulings, claiming that the penalties against his team had an influence on the outcome of the game.
“Yes, I was unhappy about it to be honest, otherwise I would have kept my mouth and not complained like I did on the field,” Burger said when quizzed about it in the pos-match media conference.
The suggestion was that Joubert’s refereeing played a big role in keeping the Stormers on the back foot and preventing them from getting their required momentum.
“They kicked 18 points through penalties, while we only had two goalable opportunities,” Burger continued, adding: “It’s not a case of sour grapes to question the calls. he’d coach one team at the breakdown and then penalise the other.”
The remarks of Stormers coach Allister Coetzee may also come under scrutiny, after he also expressed his disappointment in Joubert’s officiating.
“It was an area where the game was won and lost,” Coetzee said.
“We thought we’d be able to get quick ball, and we knew Craig was the type of referee who penalised defending teams heavily. But like Schalk said, he penalised one team, and coached the other.
“In the rest of the season Joubert has given the advantage to the attacking side and during the season he gave three times as many penalties at the breakdown than Kaplan and Mark Lawrence did, but [on Saturday] he went the other way,” Coetzee added.
Burger did admit that the Bulls’ early lead, when they raced into a 16-0 advantage, also played a role.
“It was disappointing from our side,” Burger said, adding: “We knew they were going to come out and blitz us.
“They did that and they are a champion side, so all credit to them.
“We are obviously disappointed at losing in the Final, but it was a huge improvement for us this year – so hopefully we can build on this going forward.”
While Coetzee admits the Bulls are better than the Stormers, the Cape team should take great momentum into the Currie Cup.
“They are an excellent team and they apply an enormous amount of pressure. They are deserved champions,” said Coetzee.
The Stormers finished the Super 14 league stage in second position and were deserved winners in their semifinal clash with the Waratahs.
Throughout the season they’ve displayed the kind of form that led many people, Stormers fans and otherwise, to believe they could compete with the defending champions.
Both teams were unanimous that the Bulls won because they had the greater experience of the bigger occasion.
It was the Bulls’ composure in the first half hour, when they took a 16-0 lead, that effectively won them a final that was played in an amazing, noisy atmosphere in front of 40 000 spectators at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
“I do think our experience of finals helped us,” said victorious skipper Victor Matfield, who joins Crusaders captains Richie McCaw and Reuben Thorne in a group that have won the title three times as captain.
“You could feel it this week. For a team that is used to doing well and has a good record in knock-out matches, the semi-final week is often the toughest, the most difficult. You get the feeling that you just need to get through the semi and then the week building up to the final will take care of itself.
“We have been through it before so we knew what it was about. I felt when we were on the way to the stadium on the bus that we were very calm and it made me confident we would win.”Tweet