Gatland responds to Rassie's refereeing video: 'World Rugby protocols must be followed'

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Warren Gatland for the British & Irish Lions
Warren Gatland for the British & Irish Lions
  • British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said he found Rassie Erasmus's refereeing video to be "interesting".
  • The SA Rugby director of rugby this week released a 62-minute video where he highlighted the inconsistencies in Nic Berry's officiating in the first Test.
  • Gatland also didn't want to comment on the decision that led to Cheslin Kolbe getting a yellow card instead of a red in the second Test.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland says he found Rassie Erasmus's viral video on the unfairness of Nic Berry's officiating in the first Test last weekend "interesting."

While admitting that his side were played off the park in Saturday's second Test that the Springboks won 27-9 at Cape Town Stadium, Gatland initially didn't want to go into detail about Erasmus's video.

SA Rugby's director of rugby released a 62-minute video on Thursday that highlighted a number of glaring errors made by Berry in the first Test the Lions won 22-17.

The video raised the ire of Rugby Australia.

"It was a bit interesting," Gatland said

"I don't want to comment on that. I want to let other people take care of that because the last thing we need is a war of words and to be accused of doing certain things."

When further pressed on whether Erasmus's video may set a precedent with how team officials complain about match officials, Gatland said the integrity of the game was paramount and World Rugby must ensure that post-match communication protocols must be adhered to.

"We've got systems and processes in place and hopefully, World Rugby does look at that and ensures that everyone follows the protocols," Gatland said.

"We do press conferences and we try to give you guys some feedback. When we deal with the referees, we do so through World Rugby.

"I hope it doesn't end with things being on Twitter and people airing their views in that way instead of the proper channels.

"I found it quite strange that approach was taken, but it is important that we keep the integrity of the game up as much as we can."

Gatland also said he was falsely accused of reacting badly to Marius Jonker's appointment as the television match official in Brendon Pickerill's Covid-19 travel restriction-enforced absence.

"It's amazing how the narrative changed with regards to the TMO because I didn't make a comment, yet I was accused of questioning his integrity," Gatland said.

"That's one of the messages they were sending out, and we'll keep things to ourselves and communicate via the proper channels when we deal with the referees."

Both the Lions and the Boks were reduced to 14 men when opposing wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Cheslin Kolbe did bin time within two minutes of each other.

Van der Merwe was carded for tripping Kolbe, but Kolbe got his yellow for taking out scrumhalf Conor Murray in the air.

Gatland didn't delve too deeply into the matter

"I'm not going to comment on the referee's decisions. We'll have our meeting with the referee this week and see what the assessors come back with," he said.

"It didn't look great from where I was, but he decided it was a yellow card decision."

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