Johnson slams 'ridiculous' call

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 20:46
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Scotland coach Scott Johnson spat the dummy after his team had a player yellow carded in their 17-30 loss to South Africa.

Scotland coach Scott Johnson spat the dummy after his team had a player yellow carded in their 17-30 loss to South Africa in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The Springboks came from behind - trailing 6-17 with just over half-an-hour to go - to record a hard-earned win over the spiteful Scots, who used every negative trick in the book and were fortunate to have earned just one yellow card.

The Boks outscored the Scots by three tries to two, with all three their tries coming in the last half-hour.

While the Boks struggled to find a way to deal with the Scottish tactics, often overlooked by match officials, Johnson suggested his team could have won had it not been for the yellow card.

Veteran lock Jim Hamilton was yellow carded in the 52nd minute for attacking the face of Bok rival Eben Etzebeth.

It followed minutes after the Boks were awarded a penalty try, after Scotland had repeatedly collapsed the Bok maul.

But the Scottish coach described the yellow card as "nothing but embarrassing".

"That's handbag stuff," he told a media briefing in Nelspruit, when asked about Hamilton's decision to give his Bok rival a facial massage.

"It ruined a great game of footy. It ruined a competitive game of footy. I don't normally have a crack at officials, but it's a crack."

Asked if there should be any citings after the game he was blunt: "Yes, the fourth official," he said.

French referee Romain Poite asked South African television match official Gerrie Coetzee to make a ruling on the incident.

"The punishment did not fit the crime," Johnson fumed.

"I'm bitterly disappointed. I'd go as far as to say we deserved to win, but with 14 men it's not easy.

"We weren't playing tiddlywinks, it's an aggressive sport.

"It was ridiculous. I was watching a game of rugby where you saw that kind of thing right the way through. That was nothing but embarrassing.

"Ten minutes for that? That was handbag stuff and it ruined a great, competitive game of footy. It certainly allowed the Boks back into the game and all I'm asking for is consistency. That was completely inconsistent.

"Did the punishment fit the crime? That would be my argument. You saw that happening several times in the game. And you can ask me a thousand times and I won't change my mind. That punishment didn't fit the crime."

Johnson was also outspoken in his criticism of Poite's handling of the game, adding: "I don't usually have a crack at officials - my record will tell you that. We want consistency and this was inconsistent."