Springbok coach Peter de Villiers blasted northern hemisphere referees for not officiating the Tri-Nations Test matches as well as the Super 14 referees did this year.
Rugby 365 reports that South Africa will have a third consecutive Irish referee, George Clancy, in their 2010 Tri-Nations campaign and De Villiers is worried about the refereeing interpretations being consistent in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
“We are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,” De Villiers told the media on Tuesday.
“The Super 14 law focus is supposed to be the way the  World Cup will be blown, but this does not appear to have got through to their [northern hemisphere] referees,” he said.
“Let me give you some Super 14 facts. The most penalised team in this year’s competition was the Crusaders with 96, and many of their penalties were for slowing the ball down.
“At the weekend, five of their [the All Blacks] ten penalties were for Richie McCaw slowing the ball down.
“The Hurricanes conceded the second-most penalties and as a result never got their game going.
“The implication is that the New Zealand teams did not embrace the new law focus as our teams did.
“We have done our utmost to comply with the new interpretations so that the game is a spectacle, which is the whole point of the new emphasis.”
De Villiers also believes that the loss of Danie Rossouw early in the second Test against the All Blacks – when he was yellow carded, after an ‘altercation’ with Richie McCaw – left his side on the back foot and with too much to do to get back into the match.
“In the first half we were unable to get our game going because of the loss of Danie Rossouw, and we saw later [when Rossouw returned from the sin bin] how important Danie is to the team with the go-forward he gives us.
“We played so well but still lost because at this level, where there is not much between the teams, it is the little things in a game that cost you and end up being points for the opposition.”
The world champions, who are also defending Tri-Nations champions have not given up hope of retaining their title, with four Test matches still to play in the competition.
“We are still the Tri-Nations champions and we are not going to give away our crown for free. We are a proud team and we will fight all the way,” De Villiers said.Tweet