Rugby World Cup 2011

Bryce not sly, just nonchalant

2011-10-10 22:44
Bryce Lawrence (File)

Cape Town - Former top South African referee, Freek Burger, says Bryce Lawrence was too casual in his approach in the Springboks' Word Cup quarter-final defeat to Australia. 

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Lawrence has been heavily criticised for the way in which he officiated the game.

While Burger believes Lawrence wasn't sly, he has questioned the New Zealander's nonchalant approach.

"I'm wondering about the preparation and focus some of the referees brought to this World Cup. If it's right (focus and preparation), then you don't miss some of the stuff that Bryce missed on Sunday, Burger told Die Burger.

"I'm not only talking about the Wallabies at the breakdowns.

"When James O'Connor missed a conversion, JP Pietersen stormed up too quickly. The rule states that O'Connor should get another chance. But Bryce lets it go by.

"After half-time, the Boks protected their ball on the ground with a squeeze ball - where you push the ball back through your legs in a crouch position.

"No defender then has a chance to win the ball back, and he also missed that.

"And how can a ball emerge on the defending side of the ruck after the ruck has already been formed for a few seconds.

"There must be something sinister happening.

"One looks at such games and wonder to whom these Test referee's report to."

Burger also questioned Lawrence's fitness after his below-par performance, something All Black coach Graham Henry also questioned before the World Cup tournament. Burger feels that Nigel Owens - who refereed the Boks' game against Samoa - is also unfit.

He rated South Africa's Craig Joubert as the best referee at the tournament. "Craig deserves to take charge of the (RWC) final," said Burger.

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