Cape Town - A New Zealand columnist is incensed by what he believes is a lack of respect from rugby players towards referees.
Mark Reason, a popular columnist for the Stuff.co.nz website, watched this past weekend’s Super Rugby action and was upset at the manner in which some players addressed referees.
“Some of the stuff that went on last weekend in Super Rugby was simply unacceptable and I am afraid to say that most of the really bad behaviour came from the New Zealand sides,” he wrote.
“Rugby used to pride itself on its zero tolerance of the loudmouths. It is what distinguished the game from football, a game which swirls with abusive obscenity. But more and more rugby players are questioning the referee's decisions and getting away with it.”
Reason hit out at Hurricanes scrumhalf TJ Perenara, who was constantly in the ear of South African referee Egon Seconds during the defending champions’ match against the Bulls in Pretoria.
Reason felt the manner in which the All Black No 9 had addressed Seconds was disrespectful.
“At the weekend the worst culprit was TJ Perenara. When the South African referee Egon Seconds correctly penalised the 'Canes on their own line, Perenara went off on one.
“He began haranguing the referee who he appeared to address as ‘bro’. He jabbed his finger at him three times and complained about the penalty count, telling the ref, ‘You've got to even it up bro.’ He whinged and he heckled. It was appalling.”
Reason said Perenara should have received a yellow card for his behaviour.
The Hurricanes comfortably won the encounter 34-20.