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New ref steams up SA rugby fans

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Cape Town – Another year ... and another Australasian rugby referee for South Africans to get hopping mad about.

Weekend public enemy No 1 in living rooms on these shores, it seems, is Aussie (though via New Zealand) official Matt O’Brien following Sunday’s heart-stopping, last-gasp 24-21 reverse by the Blitzbokke to hosts NZ in the final of the Wellington leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

It would also have given South African enthusiasts little comfort that the 34-year-old referee is the son of Paddy O’Brien, former head of the IRB (now World Rugby) Referee Board and not always the most popular whistle-man here during his own heyday.

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