British & Irish Lions

Refs didn’t give Siya Kolisi ‘same respect’ as Alun Wyn Jones, Rassie claims

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Siya Kolisi and Alun Wyn Jones during the pre-game toss. (@lionsofficial - Twitter)
Siya Kolisi and Alun Wyn Jones during the pre-game toss. (@lionsofficial - Twitter)

One of Rassie Erasmus' biggest peeves in last Saturday's game was how the officials seemingly failed to treat Springbok captain Siya Kolisi with the same level of respect as his British & Irish Lions counterpart Alun Wyn Jones.

Erasmus recorded an hour-long monologue viral video pointing out numerous incorrect refereeing decisions and inconsistencies in applying the laws during the Boks' 22-17 loss to the Lions in Cape Town.

The SA Rugby director of rugby was particularly scathing of Australian referee Nic Berry for failing to penalise the Lions for the same offences that he pinged the Boks for committing.

BIL1.mp4 from JJ on Vimeo.

READ | Steaming Rassie dissatisfied with refereeing feedback, prompting unprecedented detailed viral video

However, once both captains tried to get into the referee's ear, Kolisi was more than once shooshed away by the officials, while Wyn Jones was allowed to linger and influence the decision-making.

In the move that led to Damian de Allende's disallowed 72nd-minute try, after Cheslin Kolbe was found to have knocked the ball earlier, Kolisi and Wyn Jones gathered around Berry and touch judges Ben O'Keefe and Mathieu Raynal.

Both captains tried to get their points across that infringements were made: Kolisi saying that Elliot Daly committed foul play on Makazole Mapimpi and Wyn Jones stressing there was a knock-on prior.

However, Raynal told Kolisi to go away while allowing Wyn Jones to stand next to the officials while TMO Marius Jonker was reviewing the footage.

"The way they listened to Siya and Alun Wyn Jones was definitely not with the same respect that both players should have," Erasmus said.

"When Siya spoke to the referee, and when Alun spoke to the referee, I felt their (the referees') actions and how they treated both those players was totally … there was a vast difference between who they were taking seriously and who they weren't.

"I'd like people to listen to the way Wyn Jones talks to Nic Berry and to Ben O'Keefe to tell them that, 'Listen here, we think Cheslin knocked the ball on'. They listened to him, and it's fair.

"Siya is trying to tell them that Makazole was pulled back, and that's foul play. Me being close to that, I obviously wanted Siya to tell the ref it's foul play because foul play overrules anything else.

"You can clearly see [both captains] referring to the [infringements], and they just told Siya to go away. Wyn Jones just stays there and points out what to check for; the knock-on, which was rightly a knock-on."

The Wales and Lions skipper, however, poured cold water on the allegation, saying that it didn't particularly feel like they got an upper hand with the ref's ear.

"It's probably a question for the officials. In the heat of the moment, it didn't really feel like we had an advantage," Wyn Jones responded when asked at Thursday's press conference about the difference in treatment between the two skippers.

"A lot of the time, I was standing next to Siya when we were speaking to the refs. It's an outside perception that I can't really comment on."


South Africa

15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

British and Irish Lions:

15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 Anthony Watson (England), 13 Chris Harris (Scotland), 12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), 10 Dan Biggar (Wales), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland) 8 Jack Conan (Ireland), 7 Tom Curry (England), 6 Courtney Lawes (England), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain, Wales), 4 Maro Itoje (England), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (England), 1 Mako Vunipola (England)

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens (Wales), 17 Rory Sutherland (Scotland) 18 Kyle Sinckler (England), 19 Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), 20 Taulupe Faletau (Wales), 21 Ali Price (Scotland), 22 Owen Farrell (England), 23 Elliot Daly (England)

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