Rugby World Cup 2011

Watson: Bryce was out of line

2011-10-11 16:50
André Watson (File)

Herman Mostert

Cape Town - South African referees manager André Watson says he was surprised by New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence's performance in the World Cup quarter-final.

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Speaking to 567 Cape Talk Radio on Tuesday afternoon, Watson admitted Lawrence's handling of the breakdown area in the clash between the Springboks and the Wallabies baffled him.

The defending champion Springboks crashed out of the tournament with a narrow 11-9 defeat, despite enjoying three-quarters of possession.

"His opening game (at the World Cup) was outstanding. I had no problem with his appointment," said Watson.

"But he allowed a free-for-all." This meant ace Australian fetcher, David Pocock, was able to have a field day, constantly disrupting the Springboks' flow.

"It's not what you would expect from a referee of his calibre - he didn't referee the breakdown the way he was supposed to. He just didn't step in."

Despite the IRB announcing that no visible action will be taken against Lawrence, Watson believes Lawrence will be hauled over the coals for his performance behind the scenes.

"He will be punished, but that's up to the IRB. I do not believe we will see him in any Rugby World Cup (ever) again," said Watson.

Watson also said that the SA referees association will aim to take action against Lawrence. "It's done and dusted now, but we will be taking action. We want to make sure it doesn't happen again."


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