Cape Town - Former Springbok centre and Sharks coach Brendan Venter has hit out at referee Jerome Garces following his performance in Saturday's clash between the All Blacks and South Africa.
New Zealand won the match 23-13 to take control of Pool B, but Garces came in for some heavy criticism at the end of the contest for his handling of the scrums and the breakdown.
It was one of several questionable refereeing performances seen so far at the 2019 World Cup, and it prompted World Rugby to this week publicly acknowledge that the standard of officiating had not been up to scratch so far in the competition.
Venter, in a column for New Zealand website Stuff.co.nz, did not hold back.
"As expected, Garces was shocking and is part of the current breed of referees we refer to as an 'everything goes referee' and their thinking is that the lower the penalty count, the better the spectacle but they are wrong," Venter wrote.
"Before the match, I knew the referee would struggle both ways because of his inability to make strong calls. For us as coaches, the issue with referees is not the mistakes they make, it's non-refereeing and what they don't blow. It's when they don't referee the offside line, don't police the breakdown, the tackler rolling, counter-rucking from the side and illegal play in the lineout which is an issue."
Venter added that it was not a wise idea for Bok coach Rassie Erasmus to have put pressure on Garces in the media the build-up to the match, saying that it was something that he had seldom seen work in his coaching career.
The Boks are next in action when they take on Namibia in Toyota on Saturday.
Another Frenchman, Matthieu Reynaud, will take charge of that match.
Kick-off is at 11:45 (SA time).