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'Wow. Wow, wow' - Jaco Peyper chatback puts cheeky scrumhalf back in his box

Jaco Peyper /Getty Images

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.

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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.

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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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Flankly 4 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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