United Rugby Championship

Burger will always tell Lions to move on from bad ref decisions: 'You can't hassle them'

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Burger Odendaal. (Getty Images)
Burger Odendaal. (Getty Images)
  • Lions captain Burger Odendaal will continue to adopt the policy of him and his team-mates rather moving on quickly from poor refereeing decisions rather than trying to protest them.
  • The men from Ellis Park were at the receiving end last week of a try that shouldn't have stood, but the centre points out there's little he can do other than lodge an initial query.
  • Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen also believes it's better for teams to deliver the type of play that makes debatable decisions immaterial to a result.

Lions skipper Burger Odendaal will continue to encourage his team-mates to shrug off debatable refereeing decisions and get on with their on-field job.

Struggling with law interpretations is one thing, but the men from Ellis Park were last week cruelly hamstrung by the awarding of a try for their hosts, Glasgow Warriors, that patently shouldn't have stood.

Italian arbiter Gianluca Gnecchi was in no position to clearly see the grounding of the ball - which never touched the try-line - and, bafflingly, replays were only shown after the conversion had been taken.

Odendaal admitted that he lodged an initial query though pointed out that's all he's able to do.

READ | Lions still in the dark over URC 'home' fixture plan, but focused on Ulster clash

"Yeah, it’s a difficult one. I've had previous instances where I felt it was clear and obvious and the ref said he'd have a look. That's basically to where one can go," the reliable midfielder said on Thursday, ahead of the Lions' concluding match of their current United Rugby Championship tour against Ulster in Belfast on Friday.

"You can't keep hammering away and insist on the officials having a second look. I have to trust that if I ask a referee to review a decision, he'll do it. It’s tough. I just try to keep the players in the mindset of not having to leave things up to a referee in terms of the match situation."

And that's what the Lions duly did, recovering from conceding the early non-try (which was to be the only one of the game) to eventually rue their own inconsistency in a 9-13 defeat.

There was no sulking at their misfortune.

"If you're going to leave it up to a referee to make a call for or against you, you're probably going to be on the wrong end of it 80% of the time anyway. You have to deliver the type of play that gets you in a position where one big call from an official doesn't affect the result," said Odendaal.

"Not all of the guys saw what happened. Only three of my team-mates actually told me to check the grounding. 

"But after that decision we just talked solutions. We didn’t slump at all. We went up a notch and didn’t give Glasgow any easy visits into our 22. We were probably more switched on."

Lions mentor Ivan van Rooyen also believes that's the way to deal with such situations.

While the URC has a formal feedback mechanism in place for teams to query certain on-field decisions, he reasonably points out that it means little in the end if a result still stands.


"There are naturally formal channels to air these type of queries. We can send footage and get feedback," said Van Rooyen.

"In the end is, it’s about how well the players reacted in the moment. The review process is really just something to use for future reference. We all make mistakes, I don’t want to make this about the referees.

"It's how the players deal with it on the field that counts."

Kick-off is at 20:35 (SA time).



15 Will Addison, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 James Hume, 12 Stewart Moore, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Nathan Doak, 8 David McCann, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Matthew Rea, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Alan O'Connor, 3 Tom O'Toole, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andrew Warwick

Substitutes: 16 Bradley Roberts, 17 Eric O'Sullivan, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Michael Lowry, 23 Ben Moxham


15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Manny Rass, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 EW Viljoen, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Ruhan Straeuli, 7 Vince Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole

Substitutes: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Wandisile Simelane

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Fri 26 Nov 21 21:35 PM (SAST)
Connacht Rugby
The Sportsground
Sat 27 Nov 21 15:00 PM (SAST)
DHL Stadium
Sat 27 Nov 21 15:00 PM (SAST)
Benetton Rugby
Glasgow Warriors
Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Sat 23 Oct 21
Ospreys 18
Munster Rugby 10
Sat 23 Oct 21
Connacht Rugby 36
Ulster Rugby 11
Sat 23 Oct 21
Cardiff Rugby 31
Dragons 29
1. Leinster Rugby
2. Ulster Rugby
3. Munster Rugby
4. Edinburgh Rugby