Erasmus Tweets video that hints at double standard in critical ref call
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.
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.
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.”
Tough test match, thanks for all the support from ??, also thanks to the Ireland supporters at the Aviva, you definetly understand the game and its great to play in an atmosphere like yesterday ! Surely was a game of big battles,but small margins ?? pic.twitter.com/Jcjci2Jlvo
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) November 6, 2022
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.
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?”
Please explain @WorldRugby ? Ireland kick the ball in the ruck right in front of the ref. Boks do the same thing and then its a penalty?
— 🇦🇺Meatusx🇿🇦 (@Meatusx) November 6, 2022
I don’t want to sound like I have sour grapes but this was so obvious at the time that I can barely believe it wasn’t looked at. I was sat in my bar with a load of Irish fans and even they saw it.
— Will Young (@notwillyoung86) November 6, 2022
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.
We need a fly half that can kick some points , please boss 🙏🏻
— Captain America 🇮🇱🇿🇦 (@FreeSpeech0075) November 6, 2022
Can we actually select a flyhalf for the next one? Having to have Kolbe taking the kicks was embarrassing
— BB (@samurbp) November 6, 2022
Rassie please listen to the criticism. It’s coming from a good place. We know you know Rugby, however its just not working. Do something different. Attack more,backline,. Stop kicking. Selection. U ruining your own legacy. How come no one tells you. You want a Foster situation
— Cavisto (@Cavisto3) November 6, 2022
Rassie, maybe blame selections, impotent game-plan, lack of attack coaching as the reasons for losing half of the games this year…such an amazing pool of players to choose from so these losses are on the coaching team and nothing else
— Marty (@RohdeMartin474) November 6, 2022
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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