Good riddance Bryce!
Bryce Lawrence (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Sport24 readers have expressed little sympathy following the retirement of New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence.
Lawrence pulled the plug on his career after his 200th first-class match in charge, and will take up a role as the New Zealand Rugby Union high-performance referee reviewer.
Lawrence claimed that he was hounded from the sport following the fall-out after the Springboks' loss to the Wallabies in the quarter-finals at last year's Rugby World Cup,
"It got pretty bad," Lawrence said, in an interview with the Bay of Plenty Times website
, "not really threats on my family as such, there was a concern, but it was mainly aimed at me through social media. On Facebook they launched a 'get rid of Bryce Lawrence' site
and it was pretty nasty.
Bryce's apology and retirement found little favour with Sport24 readers:
"Remember all the pressure on the NZRU that they are always ranked #1 in the world but haven’t won the Webb Ellis since the opening tournament? Most Saffa’s are saying “put two and two together…” The result of Australia vs Ireland ensured a SA v AUS semi-final in order to take SA out."
- Nicholas de Bruin"He has admitted to being Biased but rewarded NZRU ref of the year? Was he paid to give All Blacks a free passage to the final? He should have been fined his match fee and banned from all forms of Rugby."
- Fulton McLaughlin
"One bad performance affects 22 players per team who have worked hard and made huge sacrifices to get to the pinnacle of their career, only to be “robbed”. May I never hear of Bryce Lawrence, Paddy O’brien, or any of the infamously biased referees again."
- Bryan"Whoever started the Get Rid of Bryce Lawrence site, take a bow. Your excellent work is appreciated."
- Bergie"I still think old Brycey must come pay us a visit here in SA. He's owed a few head-slaps."
- Charles Dumbwin"I think we should accept his apology, he had a bad performance and knowing what we know now, I thinks it's time we understand, accept and forgive, good luck Bryce."
"I have no sympathy at all for Lawrence. When you get involved in World Rugby as a Referee you know what pressure is involved. How can you turn around and tell all he rugby fans in the World that you were pressurised by outside influence?"
- Clifford Voight"His total disregard to the basics laws of rugby was a disgrace for the awesome game of rugby!"
- John Haines
'High-performance referee reviewer'? That is tantamount to make Jub-Jub the spokesperson for the Drive Alive campaign."
- erich goosen"It's a bit too late! way overdue..."
- Xolani Matyeke
"His retirement is welcomed!"
- Leon Verster"High time, and good riddance!"
- Rense Loopstra
"Good,another crook retires."
- Roy W
"Are people still harping over this? Move on, people..."
- Camillah Adams
"He should never again be involved in anything concerning rugby..."
- zane eagles"The best referee ever to come from NZ...won the 2011 WC for them..."
- Johan Botha"The way Boks play now they need a ref like him to be a ref, touch judge and tv ref in order to beat the All Blacks."
- Malavi Mamepele"The thing that is so ironic is the fact that the one man who had one of the worst track records as a ref is going to rate other refs on their performances."
- Luke Daffue"The sad thing is that you still got paid for the poor performance and you changed the course of the RWC! Maybe a little humility and return the fat 'Match Fee'. Good riddance, now IRB sort out the dross and level the playing field to two battling sides of professional sportsmen and the game of rugby, not meddling officials..."
- Gavin Pen"Which ever way you cut it - he's a [bad] ref."
- adrianlestersm"Instruction to would-be refs in his class: Do exactly the opposite of what this idiot says and the game will be blown fairly!"
- edwardschThe message from Sport24 readers was clear: Good riddance Bryce! (Gallo Images)