Cape Town - Sport24 readers have criticised Cell C Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis for his behaviour towards referee Lourens van der Merwe during the Sharks' last Super Rugby match against the Reds.
VIDEO: Jannie backchats ref!
Van der Merwe, during a break for treatment to an injured Reds player early in the second half, had addressed the prop over his dissatisfaction with a binding issue in the scrums, telling him he was on a final warning or he would “have to penalise”.
Du Plessis, to the incredulity of many people listening to the SuperSport audio feed, spiritedly protested, saying that his technique had received the backing of scrumming guru and former Springbok No 3 Balie Swart and also Paddy O’Brien, once a Test referee and former head of the International Rugby Board’s Referee Board.
“So please don’t lecture me,” Du Plessis was clearly heard to say during the novel exchange."Happens when you think you are bigger than the game..." - Jacques le Roux
Although Du Plessis later apologised for his behaviour, some felt the Sharks prop was lucky to escape further censure or punishment for the unruly incident.
This is what Sport24 readers had to say about Du Plessis' behaviour:
"Jannie, you have made yourself a marked man and just before the trip to Loftus?!" - dono
"As a shark supporter i feel ashamed to say this man is a shark, he is a useless player and it seems like a fair amount of arrogance..." - Rugga Shark
"He totally disrespected the match official infront of millions of rugby viewers and made SA's name gat." - Janneman Poggenpoel
"Overrated prop with an overinflated ego...would like to see him try this stunt with an Aus or NZ ref." - Jean Viljoen
"If an apology is deemed good enough, then it's a disgrace. As simple as that." - Terence Ressler
"With that incident van der merwe showed every rugby lover he is a biased spineless ref, and a big embarresment to SA rugby." - JP
"Jannie poeplessis deserves a year ban minimum." - Thomas Tardiskus
"The fact that the Dr has the refs tel number on his dialing list needs to be investigated." - Jeffrey Aucamp
"He had orders from Jake to apologise." - Louis Bensch
"En die ref het ook nie rugraat nie, hy moes hom dadelik afgestuur het." - LB
" "But Paddy said I can, don't lecture me". (Picture than in a 12yo's voice before it has broken) Every single Bok prop dead or alive must be hanging their heads in shame at this morons behavior. How he escapes a hearing and a hefty ban is beyond any reasonable mans comprehension. SARU and the SA referee ass have left the door wide open for international ridicule. One expects more." - JA
"Voorbarige en sonder maniere. Nie juis 'n voorbeeld nie." - Robert Barrie
"He shouldn't have behaved like he did in the first place. What an awesome example for young kids." - Bull Dozer
"Life ban for jannie poeplessis. Paddy told me I can say that." - TT
"This quack couldn't win a church raffle if he had the only ticket. Paddy said I could say so." - JA
"He would not have made a comment like that if it was an aus or nz ref...just because you are a bok..doesnt mean you can look down on people. He did say sorry...but also think a card should have been given. If players start back chatting to refs..one of these days we will have soccer on our hands." - Terence Skinner
"There should be some sort of disciplinary hearing iro this. Totally unacceptable. The ref is in control on the field nervermind if he makes a bad call. He stays in charge. You see some players think they are bigger than the game itself that is why you get this type of reaction. The ref should have given him a yellow card and told the captain that he will not tolerate that sort of attitude. That was really bad for the image of the game, shows lack of discipline and disrespect for the game and its regulations." - Piet Genade
"Being a doctor maybe he felt that the ref was entitled to a second opinion?" - Audite Veritatem
"Sound like Jake reminded him the referees still need 2 be appointed 4 the play-offs..." - Louren M Hendricks
"Jannie's backchat should have been dealt with immediately via a yellow card. His tone was absolutely unacceptable. Every school kid listening now thinks you can say whatever you like to the ref." - Gary Birnie
"As hy 'n probleem gehad het met die Ref se waarskuwing kon sy Kaptein iets gesê het. Hy's oud en hoort nie meer in die game nie. Hy moes def 'n boete gekry het of tenminste vir 'n wedstryd geskors word." Ettienne Theunis de Villiers
"I'm a Sharks and hey, Jannie should have been cautioned for this banter." - Paul Marais
"He should get wrapped over his knuckles, but it is no use making a bigg fuss now." - Sean Wolf
"Unacceptable behaviour. Referee's need to be respected, players can't talk to them like that. I imagine Jannie is going to be coming off the bench for the next few games." - David Scott Duncan
"Balie Swart het `n rooikaart gekry toe hy gemaak het of hy `n geelkaart vir die skeidsregter wys. Jannie moes minstens `n geelkaart gekry het. Onaanvaarbare gedrag van `n senior springbok." - Johan Brits
Jannie du Plessis (Gallo Images)