How to win the Euro lottery: Play in the URC
SPOTLIGHT: Come back Bryce Lawrence, all is forgiven. This, in a nutshell, is the feeling of many supporters of the four South African teams after the opening fortnight of the United Rugby Championship.
The South African coaches and players have been circumspect in their responses – opting to follow the formal channels, rather than publicly airing any concerns.
However, the emotionally invested supporters have been vocal in their commentary of the arbitrary nature of match officials’ rulings and behaviour.
Despite their muted responses in public, @rugby365com have been told three of the four South African teams have already raised their misgivings through the formal URC channels.
It is believed the Sharks sent in a ‘complaint’ after their Round One loss to Munster at Thomond Park.
The Bulls also ‘reached out’ last week to ‘get some clarity’ on match officials’ interpretations.
The Stormers, following their 18-34 loss to Munster at the Irish province’s home ground, have reportedly sought a meeting with the Irish Rugby Football Union Head of Referees Dudley Phillips.
There are some interesting clips from their Round Two loss that raise questions about Irish referee Andrew Brace’s performance – which at best can be described as capricious.
It is common knowledge that the rulings of European referees turn the breakdown into a lottery.
Phillips’ performance did that to an entire game.
Below are some clips from the Stormers’ loss to Munster, which seems to suggest there were two sets of rules applicable in the game.
At the very least, the Stormers have reason to ask for ‘some clarity’ to ensure they don’t continue to fall foul of match officials.
* Watch below and decide for yourself …