'Wow. Wow, wow' - Jaco Peyper chatback puts cheeky scrumhalf back in his box
Lippy players can sometimes get the better of referees, but Jaco Peyper had the last say at the weekend. Peyper joined a select group of referees when he took charge of his fifth Currie Cup Final – when the Bulls beat the Sharks 26-19 in extra time at Loftus Versfeld this past Saturday.
Not only was Peyper the epitome of professionalism – being spot on with his calls – but he also produced two classic chirps that told the players exactly who was in charge.
In a firm, but collegial tone, the seasoned referee showed why he is rated as one of the best in the world.
The first Peyper plink came around the 17-minute mark – following two scrum resets. Lippy Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, who had been sniping at his opponents from the outset, felt the need to direct Peyper about aspects of his refereeing that may need attention.
The referee’s riposte would have shut up the most seasoned veteran. “You’ve got a lot of advice for your first Currie Cup [Final],” Peyper snapped back at the Sharks No.9.
Hendrikse then seemed to direct his ‘advice’ mostly towards the opposition – leaving Peyper to do the refereeing.
That was not the only time Peyper had a clever response for a player that was getting in his ear.
Then in extra time, with the game getting very testy at 19-all, the Bulls captain and World Cup-winning Springbok No.8 Duane Vermeulen was at the sharp end of Peyper’s wit.
“Duane, you know from playing for the Springboks, you used to hate it when New Zealand did that,” he told the Bok veteran – which elicited a wry smile from the veteran.
Afterwards, both teams had only praise for the referee. “Jaco Peyper had a really good game,” Sharks coach Sean Everitt told a post-match media briefing.
His Bulls counterpart, Jake White, was equally complimentary. “He is an international referee, he’s a Test referee,” White said, when asked about some of Peyper’s ruling, adding: “We gotta adapt and I think again Duane was calm when he spoke to him.”
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