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Lions fans have a suggestion for Warren Gatland ahead of third test

By Sam Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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After last weekend’s loss to the British and Irish Lions, Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus took to social media to criticise a number of refereeing decisions in the match.


First, under a fake alias, Erasmus drew attention to just a small handful of issues on Twitter before posting a sizeable hour-long video on Vimeo where he outlined a mass of decisions (or non-decisions) that he disagreed with.

It was an unprecedented move from the former Springboks coach and while some supported his opinion, most criticised the means he went about publicly sharing his comments on the officiating.

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Springboks loose forward Duane Vermeulen has been a major absentee for the past two matches.
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Springboks loose forward Duane Vermeulen has been a major absentee for the past two matches.

Whether Erasmus’ actions had any impact on the second test can’t be said, but things did run considerably more smoothly for the tourists on Saturday, with the Springboks ultimately winning the game 27-9.

In the first test loss, South Africa were on the wrong side of a 14-8 penalty count. In their victory, however, the Springboks conceded just 10 penalties to the Lions’ 15.

While there were some acts of foul play from the Lions that clearly went unpunished, South Africa also appeared to escape without further punishment for some suspicious looking offences – including Cheslin Kolbe’s taking out of Conor Murray (which received a yellow card, but some felt a red was warranted), and shoulder charge from halfback Faf de Klerk.

With the penalty count favouring the Springboks, many fans on social media used the opportunity to take some cheeky digs at Erasmus and suggested that Lions coach Warren Gatland would quickly begin preparing a video of his own ahead of the third test.



Gatland himself, however, suggested following the game that if he and his coaching team have any qualms with the refereeing, they won’t be venting their frustrations on social media.

“We will go back and look at it, if there is any issues in terms of things we will go through the right channels,” he said.

“I won’t be taking to social media to express my views, but we will spend the next couple of days doing the review then hopefully catch up with the referees at some stage next week if there are any concerns which we have.”


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