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'Respect shown to Siya compared to Alun Wyn was 2 different levels'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Rassie Erasmus has accused Nic Berry and his team of officials of being disrespectful towards Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi compared to their dealings with Lions skipper Alun Wyn Jones during last Saturday’s Test series opener in Cape Town which was won 22-17 by the tourists. 


The Springboks director of rugby has filmed a spectacular hour-long video review of the various contentious decisions that occurred in the game and included in the 26-clip dossier was a four-minute look at how Berry and co treated Kolisi before they consulted with TMO Marius Jonker regarding the eventually disallowed 72nd minute try by Damian de Allende. 

Erasmus had initially contacted referee Berry on Sunday evening looking for clarification on a multitude of incidents that occurred in the closely fought Springboks versus Lions Test match only to be made to wait until Tuesday to get feedback. He then videoed a 60-minute review later that day detailing a myriad of concerns and this film made its way into the public domain on Thursday.

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Included in this was the try that was disallowed for a knock-on by Cheslin Kolbe. Erasmus agreed that a fumble had taken place but he queried why the subsequent foul play in which Makazole Mapimpi was pulled back by Elliot Daly off the ball before de Allende touched down wasn’t allowed to overrule the knock-on and give the Springboks the penalty in front of the posts which they would likely have converted for the lead. 

Erasmus also took grave exception to how the review by the officials commenced with Kolisi seemingly getting told to walk away while Lions skipper Jones was allowed to loiter for longer to ensure the knock-on by Kolbe was checked so that the try was ruled out.  

“Being a water carrier, being on the field, this is where I really experienced what one guy said and what the other guy said to the referee is totally different,” alleged a fuming Erasmus. “When Siya spoke to the referee and when Alun Wyn spoke to the referee, I just felt that the reactions on how they treated both those players there was a vast difference in who he was taking serious and who he wasn’t taking serious. 


“You can clearly see Makazole being held back. Now whatever you say that is foul play, you can never hold a player back and foul play overrules everything else so there can be a knock-on beforehand. The explanation which Nic gave me is that foul play must be dangerous to overrule something else. I have looked through the law book, I can’t find the place where it says foul play must be dangerous to overrule a previous mistake like a knock-on. 

“Mapimpi runs through here and gets held back, Damian scores a try which eventually is not a try. I would like you to listen to the way Alun Wyn Jones talks to Nic Berry and to Ben O’Keeffe and tells them he thinks Cheslin knocks the ball on and they listen to him and it’s fair, and Siya is trying to tell them that Makazole is pulled back which is foul play and me being close to that, I wanted to Siya to tell the ref that it is foul play because foul play overrules anything else. 

“You can clearly see here Alun Jones refers to the knock-on and then Siya refers to the holding back and they just told Siya to go away and Alun Wyn just stays there and Siya had to walk away and Alun Wyn goes again to ask to check the knock-on which was a knock on… Cheslin did knock the ball on but that should be a penalty right in front of the posts. 

“I might be wrong, it might be a new law that came out somewhere where they said foul play must be dangerous to overrule anything else. Here you can see Cheslin knock on the ball and Marius has made the right call. 


“Yes, fine, Cheslin knocked on the ball but post this there was foul play when Mapimpi was pulled back so that didn’t go our way and the way they listened to Siya compared to the way they listen to Alun Wyn was definitely not with the same respect that both players should have.

“If you look at the score, the score was 17-19 for the Lions in the 71st minute and a penalty in front of the posts where Makazole was pulled back puts us in the lead. If I am wrong that foul play must be dangerous to overrule then I am wrong and I apologise but according to me foul play should be overruling anything else, a penalty to us and we should then be up on the scoreboard which didn’t happen. But again I felt the respect shown to Siya compared to Alun Wyn was just two different levels.”


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