Rassie responds to 'tough' Willie le Roux yellow

Romain Poite (Getty Images)
Romain Poite (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has accepted the decision to give Willie le Roux a yellow card in Saturday's 26-20 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.

READ: Rob Houwing's Springbok ratings

In what was one of the biggest calls of the match, French referee Romain Poite sin-binned the Springbok fullback for a deliberate knock-on in the 46th minute. 

It was a decision that immediately drew criticism from Bok fans on social media as well as the SuperSport commentary team. 

Le Roux had read the pass perfectly and, had he caught the ball, would have almost certainly ran through for a try.

Instead, the Boks were made to endure a testing period with 14 men. 

Speaking after the match, Erasmus acknowledged that the call was "tough", but added that the Boks had also been on the receiving end of some favourable decisions this year.

"It's a yellow card. He gave a yellow card and we have to live with that," the coach said.

"We've had some yellow card decisions going for us where we thought the team playing against us was unlucky to get a yellow card."

When further pressed on whether he felt the decision was harsh, Erasmus expressed sympathy for the match officials.

"I think Willie tried to catch the ball. If he catches it in a different way it's okay but if you catch it in another way it's not okay," he said.

"I think it's tough. It's tough for the referee on the field and tough for the TMO. There are so many difficult areas around it so for me to criticise it would just be stupid."

There are, of course, numerous grey areas in rugby officiating currently and referees are under a constant spotlight. 

Erasmus hopes that World Rugby will find a way around the issues facing the game and he tried his best to keep a positive outlook.

"I think the positive is that you know that nobody is cheating," he said.

"Once you know that nobody is nailing anyone on purpose, we can all live with it.

"Maybe we're just in this transition period to get it right, like football did with technology. Maybe we just need to hang in there. Nobody is trying to cheat."

The Boks will end their northern hemisphere tour on Saturday when they take on Wales in Cardiff.

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