Boks concerned about ref’s performance ahead of Wales clash

2014-06-10 00:00

THE Springboks are not the only ones who will have sleepless nights this week over referee Romain Poite before they meet Wales in Saturday’s first Test match.

The Red Dragons too have suffered from the Frenchman’s whistle but cleared the air afterwards.

Welsh forward coach Robin McBryde yesterday admitted that his team had been in touch with Poite over his performance during the Six Nations series earlier this year when he punished Welsh prop Gethin Jenkins with a yellow card in their match against the England side.

Jenkins was penalised at a scrum and this is exactly the phase of the game where a big battle between the Boks and their opponents is expected. The Springboks were penalised at the scrums against the World team when they played them at Newlands last Saturday.

Adam Jones and Jenkins are expected to anchor the visitors’ scrums against the Boks while the performance of home team’s Sharks front row of Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira has been heavily criticised recently.

Poite punished the Boks heavily last year during the Rugby Championship when he yellow-carded Bismarck du Plessis for a high tackle on All Black flyhalf Dan Carter.

The Bok supporters will hope that Poite does not have the same influence on the game this weekend.

“He [Poite] refereed our match against England and since then the channels of communication with Romain and Joel [Jutge], who is in charge of the referees [at the International Rugby Board], have been very good,” said McBryde.

He views scrums as an important part of the game and no one wants scrums to take place over and over again.

According to the former Welsh hooker, the Boks are a proud scrumming team.

“Scrumming is somewhat different this part of the world compared to the northern hemisphere.

“But it is definitely a department where we also have experience, which we hopefully can implement.”

He does not think that some of the home team players — among them the Bok front row — are necessarily tired from playing.

“I would rather say that they are always ready for a war. That is always a benefit.”

McBryde said the scrums will be a big challenge to his team as well as to stop the Boks’ rolling mauls.

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