Rugby Championship

Ref comments could cost Henry

2013-10-03 14:00
Graham Henry (AFP)
Auckland - World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry faces an investigation for saying referees and the judicial panel in this season's Rugby Championship have been "totally inconsistent" and are "a weakness in the game."

The ex-All Black coach, now a technical adviser to the Argentina team that play against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in the Rugby Championship, made the comments during the ReUnion panel show which screened live on New Zealand's Sky TV on Tuesday night.

Commenting on the citing of Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe during last weekend's Test against Australia, Henry said the judiciary is "totally inconsistent just like the refereeing."

Henry said a decision to issue a yellow card to Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper for a tip tackle in the same match was "madness" and referees appeared to be looking for excuses to award yellow cards beyond "the obvious."

"I just can't understand what they are seeing because everyone else doesn't agree," he said.

Henry agreed with another panellist on the TV programme, former All Black scrumhalf Justin Marshall, that referees were awarding red and yellow cards too quickly and it was affecting the outcome of matches.

"I think that is a weakness in the game at the moment," he said. "We need totally transparency."

SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters told Fairfax media from Argentina he was aware of Henry's comments and said the southern hemisphere rugby group would be investigated.

While acting as an assistant coach of the Auckland-based Blues during this season's Super Rugby competition, Henry was sanctioned by SANZAR for calling a television match official "blind." He was forced to make a public apology and was told to refrain from making similar comments in future.

Read more on:    graham henry  |  rugby

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