Bismarck du Plessis yellow card a case of human error – IRB

2013-09-16 08:46

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Wellington – The International Rugby Board (IRB) has found fault with French referee Romaine Poite’s decision to award the first of two yellow cards against Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis during Saturday’s Rugby Championship test against New Zealand.

In a statement today the IRB said the yellow card awarded against Du Plessis for a tackle on New Zealand fly half Dan Carter in the 17th minute of the match was “incorrect”.

Du Plessis received a second yellow card for foul play in the 42nd minute of the match, which meant he was automatically sent off.

New Zealand went on to win 29-15 as South Africa played most of the second half with 14 men. The IRB said the yellow-card decision “was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials”.

While the first yellow card drew the most criticism from pundits, it was also debatable whether the second incident was worth a card.

“Even the second yellow card is questionable if one looks at how other players also lead with the elbow,” Saru deputy president Mark Alexander said yesterday.

“We are working hard with our technical officials to deal with the IRB around issues concerning referees. We believe our technical team is on top of things.”

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said the team needed to put Saturday’s drama behind them and do a postmortem to determine what they needed to improve on for the remaining two tests.

“The result is definitely disappointing. I felt we played well against Australia and at times we played well against New Zealand,” De Villiers said yesterday.

“But there were definitely certain areas that we didn’t do well at and we need to improve that in the next two games.

“We do need to put that behind us and, firstly, we need to look at that performance and rectify those mistakes that we made.”

He said it was difficult to gauge the team’s performance against the All Blacks as the yellow cards affected their ability to execute their game plan.

“We are still in a positive frame of mind and we still believe that we can win the competition, so hopefully we can take some time off and come back strong,” said De Villiers.

“It is tough because we didn’t start well and when we thought we got back into the game, then the first yellow card. Then we sort of clawed ourselves back into the game again and then Bissie was sent off.”

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