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Erasmus Tweets video that hints at double standard in critical ref call

By Ian Cameron
South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus before the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Eramsus has tweeted about the ‘small margins’ in Ireland’s victory over South Africa last night, accompanied by a video that suggests a lack of consistency from referee Nika Amashukeli.

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Ireland came out on top in a physical battle against South Africa with a 19-16 victory that handed the top side in the global rankings a psychological boost over the world champions ahead of their title defence next year.

After a ferocious first 40 minutes which had more injuries than clean line-breaks, the game opened up early in the second half with quickfire tries from Josh van der Flier and Australian Mack Hansen that put Ireland 16-6 ahead.

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However, Amashukeli didn’t ping Ireland hooker Dan Sheehan in the lead-up to the try has irked Erasmus, not least as the Springboks were penalised for a stray boot in a ruck that had initially saw Eben Etzabeth regain possession with the Irish line in sight.

Erasmus Tweeted: “Tough test match, thanks for all the support from 🇿🇦, also thanks to the Ireland supporters at the Aviva, you definitely understand the game and its great to play in an atmosphere like yesterday! Surely was a game of big battles, but small margins.”

The decision for Erasmus to Tweet the video of a tight call of course evokes memories of the scandal that embroiled the maverick DoR during the British & Irish Lions tour in 2021. The 50-year-old has just returned from a Test match ban for the debacle.

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His tweet did play well with some hardcore fans, though.

“Please explain World Rugby?,” wrote one irate fan. “Ireland kick the ball in the ruck right in front of the ref. Boks do the same thing and then its a penalty?”

However, many more fans railed at Erasmus for what they see as the Boks’ real glaring issue at the moment, the lack of genuine goal-kicking flyhalf.

The win meant Andy Farrell’s men followed up their first ever three-Test series victory in New Zealand in July with another important win against a team they will face again in the World Cup pool stages in France in 10 months’ time.

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