Fans take aim at referees

Cape Town - Sport24 readers have criticised referees after several poor performances by match officials in Super Rugby recently.

SANZAR, Super Rugby's governing body, on Monday dropped three referees from upcoming matches as organisers of the three-nation tournament responded to a litany of complaints from coaches and players about refereeing standards in this season's competition.

South African Lourens van der Merwe, Argentine Francisco Pastrana and Australian James Leckie were all cut from the refereeing roster in a move referees boss Lyndon Bray said recognises "who has performed to expectation and who has not."

South African referee Stuart Berry, who has produced some of the most contentious decisions in recent weeks, remains a member of the refereeing panel, although former Springbok coach Nick Mallett was also highly critical of his performance against the Reds last weekend.

This is what Sport24 readers had to say about refs:

"Listen, it is a sad, sad day for rugby if after two matches someone like Berry can still make the cut. That's scraping the bottom of the barrel." - JamesBlacksmith

"Berry is not scheduled to ref any time in the next two rounds and SANZAR has already agreed Berry (and the TMO) was wrong. SANZAR is simply running out of referees to fire." - JB

"Peyper should be on that list too." - Mike Beets

"I applaud SANZAR for this move. Hopefully it will be a wakeup call for other officials. The message should be clear. Shape up or ship out." - Botman Stormtrooper

"Well at last! This is long overdue! Some of these refs are pathetic!" - Johan Botes

"I don't want to be that guy, but I think they should launch a match fixing investigation into some of the more blatant screw ups. I mean surely a ref at international standard can't just decide that a clear double movement and short grounding, which was advised as such by the TMO, is a try. That's not an error, that is something else..." - Witgemors Werner

"Peyper, Berry and Van der Merwe are the most arrogant referees I have seen in my life. They want to be the centre of attention." - Hansie en Elmien Myburgh

"They are professional referees... Just like the players get match fees and suspensions for poor performances, refs should live by the same rules!" - Jason Hepple

"What message is Lyndon Bray giving the ANZAC players? Its ok to break the laws of the game and cheat. Negative play is fine and when the ref penalizes them he will just remove them from the panel.
Come on own up to mistakes but be fair to the refs they blow the game in front of them." - Remo Liut

"Craig Joubert blind and Steve Walsh confused Jaco Peyper retarded Glenn Jackson friggin spaced out alien,Chris Pollock total nutcase, Garrat Williamson plank ect ect... Go down the list rather get a neutral ref that can screw both teams equally." - Gerhard Steenkamp

"The Reds had the biggest penalty count against them even before this game and 2nd highest card count. It is quite clear that the referees are aware of their illegal plays and they are getting penalised. If you are too dumb to learn from your mistakes, you have to suffer the consequences." - Pieter Swart

"Neither of these two referees covered themselves in glory in my opinion, but does it seem strange to anybody else that both have been removed just before they would have been in charge of two all NZ games?" - SpiesSA

"Thank you for Craig for the Bulls/Chiefs game." - Smurwwe

"Surely they could also tell us who the best performing refs were." - Steven Bressler

"Me thinks that the refs are told by SARU and SANZAR to rotate at making dumb decisions just to keep us supporters interested, lol." - Louis Bensch

"NZ (2011 World Cup especially) and Aus refs (Dickinson especially) have been useless for years, pity they weren't jettisoned in the same manner!" - Joe Carter

"SA teams benefit for change!" - Hymie Marnewick

"Berry on the Lions' payroll is he? Just wondering." - Rica Schuurman

"I am happy the Lions won , but Mallet is 100% right !! Call a spade a spade !!" - Sean Wolf

"The refs just need to start enforcing the laws consistently." - WW

"All refs have been terrible, at this rate we will have craig joubert ref every game because apparently there isn't a decent ref around. The cheetahs were on the receiving end of some pretty bad decisions as well, so the reds aren't the only team having bad decisions against them." - Luke Hill

"Tough to get away with bad officiating in cricket, but in a game where there is a maul every 10 seconds where both teams often can get penalised at the same time, it is a game rife for abuse." - JB

"SANZAR whom youre trying to fool-bring back neutral referees and half of your problems are solved..." - Johannes Eksteen

"Time to go back to neutral refs again. At least then they can only be accused of incompetence and not biased favouritism." - Johnny Axe

Stuart Berry came under fire from Nick Mallett. (Gallo Images)
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