Dobson: 'Debating officials' decisions seems to be the national sport'
REACTION: Western Province head coach John Dobson said it was always going to be an impossible task to beat a powerful Bulls team with just 14 men on the field.
The Bulls recorded a convincing 34-13 bonus-point win in their Round Eight fixture at Newlands on Friday, which sent them to the top of the Currie Cup standings
The visitors were just four points ahead in the 36th minute when WP hooker Scarra Ntubeni received a red card for a dangerous tackle on Bulls scrumhalf Zak Burger.
Dobson said there were a few incidents in the match that could be debated, which also included No.8 Evan Roos being denied a try by the Bulls.
“I’ve only seen it [Ntubeni’s tackle] once. The feedback we keep getting is very much mixed,” Dobson told reporters after the match.
“We knew that was the end of the game because unfortunately when you get that [a red card] against a really good team like the Bulls, you got to start playing less rugby and it just becomes a question of what the score is going to be.
“We won’t appeal it, but if there is a hearing which I presume will be, we will certainly argue in Scarra’s defence.
“Just on the feedback we are getting from outside is that it was harsh. He could be suspended for a week or two, which I think is harsh.”
He added: “If we are going to look at things, then when Evan Roos was trying to place the ball to score, I am not sure you can get the ball away like that either.
“That was a critical time. We were down to 14 men and we going to go score, so that was another big call.
“Debating the officials’ decisions seems to be the national sport at the moment. I don’t really want to get involved in that.”
Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White believes Ntubeni’s tackle on Burger was a clear red card.
“A lot has been written and there has been a lot of talk about the lawmakers being stricter on head injuries and head clashes,” said White.
“I spoke to the referee after the game and I had no doubt that it was a red card.
“Sometimes it is not on purpose, sometimes it just the nature of the way it is and sometimes you get your timing wrong.
“The reality is it’s a risk you take. He probably got the timing wrong and he got his height wrong and there were factors that influenced the decision.
“If they are going to be consistent like that then it will be a red card.”