While SANZAR ponders whether any steps should be taken against Stormers captain Schalk Burger and coach Allister Coetzee, statistics have been released that reveal just how silly they were for criticising match referee Craig Joubert.
Johan Botes, a South African-based SANZAR Director, confirmed that a decision whether charge Burger and Coetzee for their ungracious post-match outbursts – following their 17-25 Super 14 Final loss to the Bulls at the weekend – will be taken on Tuesday.
The Stormers captain was scathing with his comments of the match official.
“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 post-match media conference.
The remarks of the Stormers coach, Coetzee, will now 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 told a post-match media briefing.
However, stats revealed on Monday show that the referee, Joubert, was more that just equal and fair in his handling of the match.
André Watson, the South African Rugby Union refereeing boss, said it was not a case of referees not being able to handle criticism.
“Of course we have to take it on the chin,” Watson said of occasions when match officials get it wrong.
“However, this is not criticism,” Watson told rugby365.com.
“If what is being quoted in the media is true – that there are two sets of rules and one team was coached – then the insinuation is that the referee was bias or was cheating.
“I simply can’t accept that. I can’t accept that we say things like that.”
The referees boss said he decided to go have a look at the match closely and – using their Fairplay programme – spent four hours looking at the tackle/ruck situations in the Final.
“The Stormers carried the ball 85 times,” Watson told rugby365.com, adding: “The Bulls took it into a tackle situation – which became a ruck or just stayed a tackle – 82 times.
“Out of that the Stormers were awarded seven penalties and six penalties were awarded to the Bulls.
“In those same phases the referee spoke 25 times to the Stormers and spoke to Bulls players on 28 occasions – never once did he repeat a warning.
“I find it strange that that is labelled as ‘coaching’.
“In fact these are staggering stats that show how incredibly fair and accurate he [referee Craig Joubert] was. I just felt the facts should be on the table.”
Watson also confirmed that a formal review of Joubert’s performance would be conducted by SANZAR bosses on Tuesday, but said he, Watson, has already looked an analysed Joubert’s performance.
He admitted there were a few errors.
“In my opinion he had a phenomenal first half,” Watson said, adding: “Obviously there are mistakes.
“One of those could place a question mark over Bryan Habana’s intercept try. Let me make it clear, Bryan did nothing wrong, but what happened before – No.22 [replacement Tim Whitehead] came in at the side and deliberately slowed down the ball, giving the Bulls a bad ball. That’s a blatant transgression that was overlooked.
“There was another occasion when [Bulls flank Deon] Stegmann stole a ball, but the slow-motion analyses showed he was illegal.
“After having worked through all those incidents I found three errors, out of 167 tackle/ruck situations.
“I think that is great and we can be happy with his performance.
“I know, it doesn’t matter how I put this, people will say: ‘Look, Watson is covering for his referee again’. I am well aware that I will be criticised, but it is important that we put the facts out there and not just opinions.”
Article courtesy of Jan De Koning at Rugby 365.comTweet