Mallett: Too late, IRB!

Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says the International Rugby Board needs to act if it wants to eradicate poor decision-making by referees from the game.

VIDEO: Nick Mallett lets rip at Romain Poite

It's an r-effing disgrace!

VIDEO: Bismarck's tackle on Carter

This follows the admission from the International Rugby Board (IRB) that French referee Romain Poite was wrong in his decision to give Bismarck du Plessis his first yellow card during the Boks’ Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks in Auckland last Saturday.

Speaking to BallzRadio's website, Mallett said it had already been openly admitted by everyone that it was a terrible decision. What was worrying, he said was that the IRB went back to admitting it was simple human error. There was no question that it was the wrong decision. Too late, Mallett said.

Mallett refused to praise the IRB for overturning Bismarck du Plessis’ red card saying the damage was done and that the decision did nothing to change the outcome of the game or the tournament.

“Poite will be sanctioned by the referees’ association, but the Springboks don’t get the opportunity to replay the game: the result stands. It was an unfair contest from the moment Bismarck was sent off after half-time.”

“That decision guaranteed that the Springboks would lose the game. It almost certainly guaranteed that the All Blacks would get a bonus point for four tries,” Mallett said.

“I remember a very good point made by Jean de Villiers in the game in Mendoza (where Argentina were accused of biting and eye-gouging). He turned to the ref and said the Springboks would like the benefit of the decision on the field after Steve Walsh promised to refer the incident to the citing commissioner. It doesn’t matter what happens afterwards. If you’re a player you want the card or the penalty there and then so you can translate that to points.

“With two assistant referees on the side of the field and the benefit of slow motion replays and the TMO up in the stands, there is no reason why an offical should make a hasty decision on the field and what was inexcusable was that he didn’t ask for an opinion from the TMO,” Mallett said.

Mallett said the laws of game were becoming too complicated for one man to make all the crucial decisions. Referees he said were under tremendous pressure, were too often influenced by home crowds and were sometimes unable to handle highly charged situations and there was too much at stake to allow officials to make mistakes.

“A player gets dropped, he loses his contract, a coach gets fired, a referee is policed by other referees but players’ futures and careers are on the line, therefore you have to get decisions right,” said Mallett.

Mallett suggested that both captains should have the option to challenge a referee’s decision (similarly to current international cricket regulations) by consulting the TMO.

“The real tragedy is it was such a good tackle and the poor guy gets a yellow card for it,” Mallett lamented.
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