More tough decisions as Sharks battle to get going

2015-03-09 00:00

THE Sharks have fallen prey to some woeful officiating in recent weeks and fans may have felt aggrieved this weekend after a few very technical decisions were made during their 29-13 loss to the Stormers on Saturday night.

Just a week before, the Sharks lost to the Bulls in Pretoria due to two ­controversial decisions by referee Jaco van Heerden and third match official Johan Greef.

Greef recommended that Van Heerden allow a Bulls try that was scored after a forward pass, while a Sharks try was disallowed after the officials adjudged that Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane had knocked on the ball while contesting for it in the air.

This weekend served up another two tough decisions. The Stormers scored their first try of the match after a charge down. Once again As in last week, Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane was involved – the winghe ran back to collect the ball over the try line and was tackled and knocked it on.

Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach then played the ball while he was in front of Ndungane, which is offside in general open play.

While there is no traditional offside behind the try line — playing a ball that is kicked or knocked on by a team-mate while you are in front of them is ruled offside anywhere on the field.

“I don’t know if there are offside lines, but I think its offside from a knock on anywhere on the field. Traditional offside lines aren’t there,My understanding is if you knock the ball on anywhere in the field of play and someone plays it while in front of you, it is offside.

“I think he may have said by us ­falling on the ball, Cobus prevented the Stormers player from touching down. That was his call and I respect it,” Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold said after the game.

Sharks centre Frans Steyn received a yellow card in the 72nd minute of the game after a late tackle on ­Stormers fullback Cheslin Kolbe.

Steyn had already given away a ­penalty and received a warning in the first half after he knocked Kolbe down after attempting a charge down. It was a tough call as Steyn arguably had no control over his movement while in the air.

He then put in a hard tackle on Kolbe as he kicked the ball on the stroke of half-time, which was reviewed by the refs before being judged a fair tackle as he was committed to the tackle.

However, his last tackle on Kolbe was clearly late and Steyn was sent to the naughty chair for the remainder of the match — seemingly one too many for referee Jaco Peyper.

“I’m not sure it was one too many of anything he was doing wrong.We have to intensify our chase; there was nothing wrong with the first one or the one at half time. The first one, where we got the penalty and a warning, I thought that was tough and I’m not sure how to tell him how to pull out in the middle of the air,” Gold said.

“But I understand they’re clamping down on collisions like that and I thought it may have just been another penalty. But I must stress that I don’t want to moan about the ref …”

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