Ref takes centre stage: ‘JD’s pass was forward’
REACTION: Friday’s defeat to the Stormers is certainly a bitter pill to swallow for Pumas.
With a 37-14 lead after 60 minutes of play, the Pumas looked well on their way to recording a historic win over the Stormers in Nelspruit on Friday.
However, the Stormers walked away with a 42-37 win after four late tries.
While it was a noteworthy comeback from the Capetonians, the defeat left the Pumas with ‘very mixed emotions’, head coach Jimmy Stonehouse revealed to rugby365.
The Pumas were simply outstanding and outshone the Stormers for most parts of the match.
However, they failed to go the full 80 minutes against the stronger South Africa franchise.
To make things worse for the smaller union, they lost in-form flyhalf Eddie Fouche just after the half-hour mark.
Stonehouse told rugby365 that the flyhalf has to undergo scans to assess the severity of the injury. However, he suspects that Fouche dislocated his hip and could be sidelined for the rest of the season.
“We played extremely well,” Stonehouse said, adding: “However our biggest concern remains lack of depth in the squad.
“We already lost our captain Ryan Nell against the Cheetahs and lock Le Roux Roets and now Eddie Fouche against Stormers.
“I know in terms of replacements we are struggling, and they didn’t make a real impact.
“However, we played really well and had ample opportunities to score two more tries.”
While there were a couple of talking points during the 80 minutes, one that stands out is the controversial 78th-minute try by Warrick Gelant, which handed Stormers a last gasp win.
Gelant received what appeared to be a forward pass from replacement lock JD Schickerling. However, referee Marius van der Westhuizen sent the pass upstairs to be reviewed by TMO AJ Jacobs and the try was awarded.
“Credit has to go to the Stormers,” Stonehouse said, however not one to mince his words the coach added: “The last pass of JD is certainly a forward pass.
“The ref always sees things differently, but it just always feels like the 50/50 calls go to the wrong way, especially during this game.”
Pumas host the Durban-based Sharks next weekend in Nelspruit
* Picture by Johan Orton Photography