British & Irish Lions

Springboks 'happy' with refereeing, mere days after Rassie's infamous video

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Ben O'Keeffe. (Photo By Ashley Vlotman/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Ben O'Keeffe. (Photo By Ashley Vlotman/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
  • Regardless of any of their players being implicated or not, the Springboks expressed their satisfaction with how citing procedures for the ill-tempered second Test against the Lions were handled.
  • It forms part of a broader theme of the South Africans believing there was more fairness to refereeing decisions over the past weekend.
  • Assistant coach Deon Davids avoided speculating whether Rassie Erasmus' infamous video from last week influenced the refereeing.

Whether the relief was perhaps more palpable in private is another question, but the Springboks, at least in public, sounded almost aloof over the fact that none of their playing were cited following this past weekend's ill-tempered second Test against the British & Irish Lions.

As it turned out, only Lions prop Kyle Sinckler received orders to attend a disciplinary hearing for an alleged bite on Franco Mostert despite expectations that World Rugby's citing commissioner would be far busier.

Cheslin Kolbe and Faf de Klerk were thought to have been in danger for high tackles that went unnoticed.

Asked about the development, Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids was typically phlegmatic.

READ | Clive Woodward calls on World Rugby to 'act now' against Rassie Erasmus

"I believe we're quite satisfied with the process that have been followed," he said.

"There was good interaction between the coaching staff and the relevant authorities at World Rugby. Whatever decisions they make, we trust that process and will abide to any rulings going forward."

However, the Springboks expressing satisfaction would seem to contradict SA Rugby allowing Rassie Erasmus, its director of rugby, to make a 62-minute video pointing out inconsistencies.

What exactly changed within the space of a few days?

"We don't think in terms of what's changed. My view is that there were a list of things and incidents that were referred in that specific game (the first Test)," said Davids.

"We've always had the policy of reviewing incidents specific to a game fairly, to give us a complete understanding of what we can improve on and prepare the players better.

"With that in mind, we had the same outlook for this past weekend's game too, being critical in terms of our game and also determining how we can communicate more effectively with the match officials during a match. Whatever happens in a game, there's a thorough process that takes place.

"Any incidents or decisions that (warrant further inspection) will be dealt with in the right spirit and the right outcome."

Davids also avoided giving his opinion on whether Erasmus' video - popularly thought to have put significant pressure on the referees for the rest of the series - didn't directly result in the officiating being fairer in South Africa's 27-9 victory.

"I can't comment on if it had a direct impact. I think we're quite happy with how certain areas that we highlighted previously was refereed," he said.

"There was good communication between the referee and the players throughout the game. At the end, we were able to express ourselves in the way we wanted to, play the type of rugby that is our strength. 

"We were very happy."

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