Peters lifts lid on IRB call

Sanzar CEO Greg Peters (File)
Sanzar CEO Greg Peters (File)
Cape Town - SANZAR chief, Greg Peters, has confirmed their role in influencing the IRB's decision to publicly air their views on Romain Poite's performance in the Rugby Championship Test between the All Blacks and the Springboks in Auckland.

Poite has been largely criticised for his role in the eventual sending off of Bok hooker Bismarck du Plessis in the 42nd minute of the match after Poite already sent him to the sin-bin in the 17th minute.

As a result, the IRB have since come out to publicly state their stance on the incident, saying that Poite's blunder "was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials".

Earlier on Monday, Du Plessis' red card was removed from his disciplinary record.

Peters also confirmed Poite will take no further part in officiating any of the remaining Rugby Championship Tests in any role and said that there was no direct communication between the two governing bodies.

"The hearing itself was a totally independent process, triggered once the two yellow cards are issued resulting in a red," Peters told Rugby365's website.

"However, there was communication regarding the referee's error and appropriate wording around that," he added.

"The fact that there was a statement, which I understand is a first from the IRB in instances such as this, is in part due to the approach SANZAR takes to incidents where there has been an obvious error in the part of match officials - i.e. open and transparent admission," Peters said.

Peters pointed out that due to the IRB's stance on the neutrality of match officials for international matches, more often than not, a referee from the northern hemisphere will be appointed to officiate Bok v All Blacks matches.

"There are currently no SANZAR referees that can do these matches, as neutrality is mandatory, and Australia only has one referee on the international panel (Steve Walsh), who is a Kiwi - so (he is) excluded.

"Super Rugby appointments are different, as they are our responsibility and they are merit based without the neutrality requirement."
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