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Springboks 'quite happy' with refereeing in aftermath of Rassie rant

By Paul Smith
Ben O'Keefe /PA

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Assistant coach Deon Davids described the Springboks as being “happy” with how the second test was controlled by referee Ben O’Keefe and his team of officials.


This comment came days after director of rugby Rassie Erasmus issued a 62-minute video identifying areas where the hosts were dissatisfied with Nic Berry’s display during the series opener.

Erasmus went on to criticise World Rugby’s approach and the timeliness with which his team received responses to their post-match officiating queries.

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Warren Gatland has said emotion will play a key role in the third Lions test.
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Warren Gatland has said emotion will play a key role in the third Lions test.

When questioned South Africa’s forwards coach declined to comment on whether his boss’s headline-grabbing reaction was behind this shift.

“I can’t comment on whether it was a direct result,” he said.

“All I can say is that we are quite happy with the way in which certain areas of the game that we highlighted were refereed this week.

“There was good communication between the referee and the players and the referee and the captains throughout the game.


“And at the end of the game we were able to express ourselves in the way we want to.

“Nothing has changed in my view; the things listed (in the video) referred to incidents in that specific game.

“It was also always a policy of looking at incidents fairly to give us a complete understanding of where we can improve.

“We still have the same outlook in terms of being critical about our game and seeing how we can perform and execute better onfield and how we can improve our communication with the referee and assistants during the game.


“Whatever happens in a game there is a thorough process that goes with that and that is the same this week as last.

“Whatever calls have been made in this game will be dealt with in the right spirit to get the right outcome.”

Davids also confirmed that the Springboks have no complaints with the post-match citing process from which only Lions replacement prop Kyle Sinckler is required to answer a charge.

“We are quite satisfied with the process that has been followed,” he said.

“There was good interaction with the coaching staff according to the processes of World Rugby and whatever decision they make we will abide with.”

de Jager Springboks
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

South Africa’s Sale Sharks lock Lood de Jager, who arrived on the field in the second half, put the second test’s high levels of physical confrontation down to what was at stake.

“I would say there was a little bit more than the usual amount of niggle due to the magnitude of the game,” he said.

“The players are playing for their countries and are very proud. It was a massive game for them as if they won that game they won the series and for us it was even bigger as if we lost we were done.”


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