Super Rugby

Waratahs coach joins chorus questioning SA ref Seconds

Daryl Gibson (Gallo Images)
Daryl Gibson (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson was unhappy with the high penalty count against his side in their 29-28 defeat to the Lions at Ellis Park at the weekend.

According to SANZAAR's official website, South African referee Egon Seconds penalised the Sydneysiders 11 times, while the hosts only conceded two penalties the entire match.

"Several of the decisions towards the end of the match did not go our way," Gibson told Netwerk24.

"With that penalty count against us we just couldn't get any momentum. I really think the penalty count against us was tough. That penalty we conceded that they kicked over to go 29-28 left me puzzled."

The lopsided penalty count was also mentioned by SuperSport pundit Nick Mallett, who said in-studio afterwards: "We can't not talk about the officiating in that second half. I think it was very difficult for Michael Hooper (Waratahs captain) to come out and say it has been a tough game between two teams who were having a crack at each other. Quick frankly, there were a couple of calls that went the way of the Lions."

Mallett made special mention of a pass that had gone forward in the build-up to a Lions try early in the second half.

"That pass was dramatically forward, two metres forward and it ends up being a Lions try. It is not a close call. It is forward out of the hands.

"There were situations where there was a breakdown and he (Seconds) was calling players off the ball. It became a very loose and difficult game at the end because the players weren't sure which way the referee was going to blow the whistle.

"What is very difficult is that a coach has got to go into a press conference and World Rugby state quite clearly that you cannot criticise the referee. Basically that has to be done through the proper channels. The coaches have a right to approach SANZAAR but it has to go through the proper channels because obviously after each game the losing coach is never happy."

Seconds was assisted by an all-South African crew of assistant referees - Rasta Rasivhenge and Jaco Peyper - while Willie Vos was the TMO.

Seconds, who was not picked to officiate in any matches for this weekend's Round 14 action, was also involved in at least three bizarre instances in the match (watch below) when he got in the way of players and was bumped out of their path.

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