Boks coach seeks 'good alignment' with referee
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: It seems the relationship between the Springboks coaching staff and World Rugby is in a much better space.
Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber revealed the camp has delivered another video following their 26-28 defeat to the Wallabies on Sunday.
However, this time it has been welcomed with open arms, unlike Rassie Erasmus’ 62-minute video after the first Test defeat to the British and Irish Lions – which was allegedly leaked.
Speaking to reporters in a virtual media briefing, Nienaber revealed handed a review to World Rugby following the defeat to Wallabies on Sunday.
The Boks coach admitted his team’s discipline was poor, but just needed some clarity around a few officiating decisions.
One call that has a lot of Springbok supporters in despair was the last scrum of the match.
In this incident Australia pushed the Boks’ pack back – which many labelled illegally – and Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White isolated Jasper Wiese for a penalty that handed them the three points for the win.
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) September 15, 2021
“We make our clips like we normally do, and ours went out on Monday – the day after the match, after our review,” Nienaber said, adding: “It went to Joel [Jutge, head of referees] from World Rugby, and they reviewed it and they came back to us.
“The purpose of that is to get alignment from our side and obviously if discipline was poor we need some clarity when it comes to team selection.
“Everybody makes mistakes. We make mistakes, referees sometimes get things wrong, you can’t get everything right.
“But let’s say a player conceded three penalties, and then the referee will come back and say that was maybe a 50-50 call that could have gone the other way. Or maybe he wasn’t offside or he didn’t transgress, or we could reward him there at the breakdown.
“Then obviously that will influence selection. You will look at a player and say you conceded three, but they came back and said two of those weren’t penalties and that ‘play on’ would have been a better call. That’s what we want from coaches and our team’s point of view.
“All we want is clarity.”
The coach also added that he addressed the aerial contest ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash and how the referee will officiate it – especially when it comes to obstruction tactics.
“When we address stuff with the referees, even in the week leading into the Test match, we always try and figure out from a coaching point of view where the contests of this Test match would be.
“For us, we thought that [chasing kicks] would be a big contest on both sides.
“[Wallaby scrumhalves] White and [Tate McDermott] are good box-kickers as well, so we thought it’s going to be a big contest, and it was – Australia kicked more in this Test match than in the previous five Test matches.
“So, we thought it was a tactic that they might employ. Obviously, they have the skill-set, even with Quade [Cooper] there, to go to that.
“It’s something we addressed and just wanted to get alignment in terms of how they see it and how they refereed that contest.
“Not all referees are the same in terms of how they interpret the contest and what they would like to see in that contest. It’s something we just aligned again after the Test match. The feedback and work from them have been good, from Joel’s side and the referee’s side.”
He added: “We will probably get another opportunity to talk with them. Hopefully, on Thursday or Friday we will have a meeting again, just to get clarity with our captain and vice-captain and almost get a relationship going so that when they meet on the pitch, it’s not the first time that they will have a chat about certain things.
“We definitely addressed that and a couple of other things as well.”
Matthew Carley from England will be the match official for this weekend, while Luke Pearce (England) and Graham Cooper (Australia) will be the assistant referees and Australian Brett Cronan the Television Match Official.