Rainbow Cup

Rainbow Cup goes common sense route with captain's call after 63-minute stoppage shock

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The captain's call has taken its toll. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
The captain's call has taken its toll. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
  • A massive 63 minutes were collectively added on to last weekend's Rainbow Cup fixtures as stoppages and captain's calls took its toll.
  • Bulls mentor Jake White on Friday revealed that shocking number, but says he's encouraged by the referees' willingness to address the issue.
  • He also reiterated that he's not against laws that promote player safety though stressed that a common sense approach is required.

A bewildering 63 minutes were collectively added on to last weekend's Rainbow Cup fixtures as breaks in play, predominantly from the controversial new captain's call law trial, took its toll.

Jake White, the Bulls' director of rugby, on Friday revealed that shocking figure following a question over whether the rule could be applied more efficiently for the rest of the campaign.

The men from Loftus' north-south derby against the Stormers in the previous round - a 20-16 win at the Cape Town Stadium - was affected quite prominently as Steven Kitshoff's shrewd captaincy for the hosts contributed to the game stretching to over two hours.

Teams:

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp

Subsitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 James Verity-Amm

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok

"We lost that amount of time across all fixtures last week, here and up north, for referrals and stoppages," said White, ahead of Saturday's top-of-the-table clash against the Sharks at Loftus.

"That's over an hour of non-activity on the field. I don't think this initiative has quite been properly thought out. It's relatively new, so everyone is still adapting.

"We perhaps saw last week that teams could be using the captain's call as a tactical weapon."

White has previously spoken out against the application of the rule, but is encouraged by productive engagement with Mark Lawrence, SA Rugby's head of referees, this past week.

"The referees have now gone and sat down with the PRO14. The general feeling is that unless everyone's 100% in real time that we need to go back (and review a decision), we can't get ourselves into a situation where you take a look at every single breakdown," he said.

"Common sense has come out in the past week, not only here, but in Europe too. Our game took two hours and six minutes to finish."

The captain's call allows teams one referral per game to review the build-up to a try or foul play.

White once again reiterated that he's not against laws that make the game safer.

"We still need [these laws] to keep the game safe. We need to make sure we don't have injuries. I'm stressing that because we want young boys to play and make parents feel it's safe enough to do so," he said.

"But as we trial it, the refs have realised that if you stop and go back to find everything and the angles are all wrong, you open yourself up to a mass amount of criticism.

"The reason is simple: you inevitably get it wrong whichever way it goes. If you see an incident as not dangerous, the public will go: 'Jeez, that is dangerous'. Other times you'll see it as dangerous and the public say the game's too careful. 

"Unless referees are 100% sure that what they've seen in real time or see something for what it is and let play go on, they won't see every decision be checked at by a captain. The balance is important."

Kick-off is at 18:15.

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