Matfield 'talked like a coach'

Cape Town - Nick Mallett was not impressed by Bulls captain Victor Matfield's conduct towards referee Craig Joubert during their loss to the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

As it happened: Stormers v Bulls

Matfield was upset at the refereeing of Joubert and was often spotted questioning decisions made by the official.

Things got heated between the two when Joubert awarded the Stormers a penalty in front of the posts in the 23rd minute.

A furious Matfield could be heard through the TV microphone telling Joubert he had made numerous errors leading up to the penalty.

"Victor, do not attack me," a clearly upset Joubert then told the Springbok captain.

Mallett, speaking in the SuperSport studio after the game, said Matfield's behaviour was disappointing to see.

"Victor Matfield has spent some time on the side of the field as a coach and clearly he has a lot of authority in the Bulls team, not only as a captain and as a leader, but also as an assistant coach," said Mallett.

"He was talking on the field like a coach would talk to a referee. All rugby players feel at times that they're being hard done by from the referee, but it's very seldom that you get a captain really tick off a referee in the way that Victor did to Craig Joubert. A player needs to understand that you must remain a player on the rugby field, the referee remains the sole judge of fact. You might be frustrated, but you can't challenge the referee like that. The final law in the rule book is the referee is always right ... even when he's wrong."

The Stormers won the game 16-0 to end any hopes the Bulls still had of reaching the Super Rugby playoffs.


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