SA referees take a hammering Down Under
SUPER RUGBY NEWS: South African referees have been labelled a ‘joke’ and the chief executives of the Australian franchises have called for an inquiry into refereeing.
According to a report in The Australian newspaper Melbourne Rebels boss Baden Stephenson said the issue was raised at the regular chief executives’ meeting this past week.
The CEOs felt ‘aggrieved’ by some of the refereeing performances over recent years and again this season.
According to the report, the Aussie officials are taking issue with the lack of ‘response and accountability’ by SANZAAR.
“There is a collective between all of us,” Stephenson was quotes as saying by The Australian.
“We all acknowledge there is an issue. We don’t think anything will be done about it.”
The report comes in the wake of the publication of statistics by the Green and Gold website that showed that over the past three years South African referees in control of matches against non-South African opponents had awarded the home sides 159 more penalties than the away sides.
“I do think as a collective group we should put some heat on SANZAAR about the ridiculous stats that have come out about hometown refereeing in South Africa,” Stephenson is quoted as having said in a letter written to Rugby Australia.
“There is too much at stake for all of us and it is hard enough to win on the road.
“In my view, the integrity of the competition is turning into a joke and SANZAAR will look the other way and won’t deal with the issue. There should be an inquiry.”
One of the issues highlighted in the report was the extraordinary penalty count when the Melbourne Rebels – who held a 33-5 lead against the Lions at Ellis Park last year – eventually lost 33-36 – with a lopsided penalty count of 20-1 by South African referee Egon Seconds.
Sources: The Australian & Green and Gold Rugby
Super Rugby ‘home town refs’ penalty awarded differential since 2017:
New Zealand (-15)
South Africa (+159)
Yes, that’s right, +159 pic.twitter.com/DkIg8cTAvx
— Green and Gold Rugby (@GAGR) February 16, 2020