Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has heaped praise on South African referee Jaco Peyper, who officiated Saturday's Super Rugby final between the Crusaders and Jaguares in Christchurch.
It was Peyper's third Super Rugby final, having previously been in charge of the 2015 final between the Hurricanes and Highlanders and the 2017 showpiece between the Lions and Crusaders.
Mallett, speaking in the SuperSport studio after the Crusaders' 19-3 win, said: "Just a quick word too for Jaco Peyper. We said before we don't want to be talking about a refereeing error after the final and there wasn't. He had an outstanding game and neither team can complain about the on-field decisions because it was all very fair."
Peyper has now refereed in 106 Super Rugby matches, with only compatriot Jonathan Kaplan (107) and New Zealand's Steve Walsh (110) ahead of him on the list.
He has become one of the senior Test referees in world rugby, having refereed 46 Tests and will officiate in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, with a World Cup final surely not out the reckoning.
Mallett, meanwhile, also had kind words for the Jaguares, who were playing in their maiden Super Rugby final.
"The sadness in a game like this is everyone focuses on the winners. But for a couple of missed opportunities this could have been a great deal tighter than it was.
"Nineteen was definitely the most points the Crusaders could have got but three was the least the Jaguares could have got. There were at least two tries the visitors could have scored. And because they went so far behind they didn’t take penalty kicks later in the game.
"But let's tip our caps to the performance of the Jaguares this Super Rugby campaign. They were absolutely outstanding and deserve to be celebrated even though the Crusaders won the title. The Jaguares were well-deserved finalists and I just think the Jaguares are the real good news story of the season," Mallett said.