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'Atrocious' - Mbonambi's comment to referee Matthew Carley panned

By Ian Cameron
Bongi Mbonami

Comments made by South African hooker Bongi Mbonambi towards English match day referee Matthew Carley has been heavily criticised on social media.


Mbonambi could be heard telling Carley to ‘ref both sides’, with many drawing a line directly to outspoken Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, who was this week banned for two matches after posting videos online about refereeing decisions.

“Bongi telling the ref to ‘ref both sides.’ Where would he have got that idea from?,” wrote one Twitter user. “Really not a good look from Boks.”

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Irish rugby journalist Andy McGeady wrote: “Now a springbok is being spoken to by the referee for having told the ref “to referee both sides”. It really would be nice if the… *checks notes*… reigning World Cup champions could just stop with the victimhood.”

Dead Ball Area wrote: “South Africas discipline is atrocious. For a player to stand up and say “ref both sides”. It is so weird because SA have traditionally been super disciplined. But Le Roux, Bongi Mbonambi all huge mouths on them… not the way to get a ref on your side.”


“I do believe I just heard Bongi telling the ref to “referee both sides”. This culture of ref blaming is permeating the side. Slippery slope this Rassie,” observed another.

While some were criticising the comments from Bongi, many other South African accounts were against suggesting that Springboks were the victims of some kind of ongoing conspiracy.

“Amazingly, no re-play from your Italian broadcasting partner for the late tackle on Willie LeRoux or the the hit on Bongi Mbonambi?,” wrote one poster, apparently referencing the idea that even host broadcasters are trying to undermine the Springboks.


South African director of rugby Erasmus was banned for two matches on Thursday, a decision the union have not appealed.


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