Springboks

Meyer: Breakdowns a lottery

Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has called for a standardised approach to officiating the breakdown by northern and southern hemisphere referees following their stuttering 30-17 win over Scotland in Nelspruit last Saturday.

Scotland used negative tactics against South Africa, where they slowed down the opposition's ball without referee Romaine Poite paying much attention.

"We need to standardise the breakdowns, because it is totally different on how the referees disagree (with the interpretation)," Meyer said on Monday.

"I've spent a lot of time in the northern hemisphere, and I knew what to expect from what I've seen and from speaking to the coaches there.

"I just believe if you want to have a good game and play attacking rugby you need quick ball.

"You will never get quick ball if the breakdown is not sorted out."

The Springboks were particularly vulnerable around the fringes, which was also due to some underhanded tactics by Scotland.

South African defenders fulfilling the role of pillars around the rucks were often taken off the ball, which allowed space for Scotland to manoeuvre.

The inconsistent officiating of the breakdown by northern and southern hemisphere referees is a long-standing issue which has been raised by several national coaches in recent years.

Meyer confirmed that he will be taking up the matter with South African Rugby Union Referees Manager, Andre Watson.
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