Instant citing on foul play mooted

2012-11-10 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Former SA referee Freek Burger says world rugby’s governing body should consider using a citing commissioner during matches to point out foul play immediately.

Burger, a current citing commissioner for the IRB, says he will discuss this idea with his contemporaries in the northern hemisphere when he does duty there over the next few weeks.

Burger will be citing commissioner for the France-Australia game in Paris this weekend, as well as matches between Australia and England, Australia and Italy and England and New Zealand.

He feels the time wasted during a match will be reduced if the citing commissioner, rather than the TV referee, views a certain incident. This will enable the official to immediately determine the necessary punishment — something he feels could have made a difference on at least two occasions this season.

He refers to the Bledisloe Cup match between Australia and New Zealand where the Wallabies’ Scott Higginbotham kneed Richie McCaw before head-butting the All Black skipper.

“I only cited him [Higginbotham] four hours after the match. But if I was called in by the referee during the match, I would have been able to immediately see him strike McCaw, first with the knee and then with the head, and awarded a red card,” Burger told Die Burger’s website. “The referee showed Higginbotham a yellow card and after 10 minutes he was back on the field.”

The other incident Burger refers to is when Sharks hooker Pieter Dixon was shown a red card after he kicked a Blue Bulls player during a Currie Cup game in Durban. After the match, it was determined that Dixon’s actions were not intentional.

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