It has been over two months since Rassie Erasmus was formally charged by World Rugby for bringing the game into disrepute. By the end of this weekend the rugby world will have clarity on whether Rassie was correct or whether he and South African Rugby will face harsh consequences, reports Keo.co.za.
In response to the drama that ensued after the first Test between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions, we wrote “All power to Rassie as he goes viral in damnation of match officials”.
Rassie Erasmus had produced a 26-clip video of the officiating from the Springboks first Test against the British & Irish Lions and stated that he was prepared to suffer any consequence from World Rugby and walk away from rest of the series.
The hour-long video highlighted 26 occasions throughout the match where the Springboks were wronged by match officials in the 22-17 first-Test defeat against the Lions.
“His statements spoke of 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,” wrote Mark Keohane.
Erasmus was not immediately punished and forced to walk away from the series, and the Springboks went on to claim a 2-1 victory, however his video resulted in a disciplinary hearing – forcing him not to tour with the team for the Rugby Championship – and formal charges against both himself and SA Rugby.
Erasmus faces the charges this weekend, though he faces them off the back of reports that it has been internally conceded by World Rugby that he was correct in 23 of the 26 refereeing calls that he questioned.
Though the outcome will only be clear after this weekend, one hopes that there will be transparency and objectivity throughout the process of the hearing. Mark Keohane wrote the following towards the end of August in a piece entitled “Don’t shoot the messenger“.
Rassie Erasmus is the messenger. World Rugby’s leadership will harm the game more by shooting the messenger. Alas, their egos are too big & the old boys are firing shots all over the place.
There is something wrong with the system when number 31 on the field, the person with the whistle, has the importance of being No 1. There is something seriously wrong with a system that rewards inconsistency and interpretation and doesn’t condemn the failure to apply the laws.