Rassie Erasmus has released the most damning 26-clip video of the officiating from the Springboks first Test against the British & Irish & said he is prepared to suffer any consequence from World Rugby and walk away from rest of the series. All power to him, writes Mark Keohane.
The SA Rugby National Director of Rugby and 2019 World Cup-winning coach released the most powerful video, which includes 26 clips, in which he shows where the Springboks were wronged by match officials in the 22-17 defeat against the Lions.
His statements include the Springboks being disrespected by the match officials, South African TMO Marius Jonker being put in a position where he wouldn’t rule anything for the Springboks and referee Nic Berry’s refusal to discuss the match queries on Sunday afternoon, with the referee saying he was sleeping at 5pm when Erasmus called.
World Rugby also refused to respond until Tuesday morning, citing protocol as the reason for not responding to Erasmus’s request for a Sunday meeting.
Erasmus, in taking ownership of any consequence from World Rugby, says silence in the media has got the Springboks nowhere and that talking through social media is no different to talking through traditional media.
It is a ‘must watch’ hour, in which Erasmus takes the viewer through the inconsistencies that have baffled him and Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, especially because he says so many of the highlighted incidents were discussed with Berry pre the match.
The clips show how many decisions Berry got wrong and Erasmus challenges Berry on his knowledge of the law and on why referee interpretation has to always be secondary to the law. Otherwise, why have the law?
Erasmus, in setting the tone with a detailed introduction, tells the viewer he wants to give context to why he felt he had no alternative than to air his dissatisfaction with the officiating through social media channels, and also through supporting video clips.
It makes for compelling viewing and is unprecedented in the build-up to any Test match.
Erasmus says that he asked the officials for a fair contest, but early on in the Test realised it was going to be a tough day at the office for the Springboks because of the way Berry, his two assistants and Jonker as TMO had responded to situations.
Erasmus said the Lions only visited South Africa once every 12 years and all that he and the Bok coach Nienaber wanted was that the series be remembered for each team having a fair crack at the result. His video footage shows this was not the case in the first Test in Cape Town.
The video is below
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