Kaplan blasted for blunder

2011-03-14 09:13

London - South African referee Jonathan Kaplan stands accused of an ‘indefensible’ blunder in awarding Wales the try which promises to earn them an extra £750 000 in prize money.

VIDEO: Wales' controversial Six Nations try allowed by referee Jonathan Kaplan

According to the Mail Online website, the accusation over the wrong-ball row comes not from the aggrieved Irish camp, but from retired English referee ‘Fearless’ Fred Howard, whose nickname reflects his record for sending off more players in internationals than any other official.

His attack on Kaplan, the world’s most-capped Test referee, could force the Six Nations into issuing a formal apology.

Even Wales conceded Mike Phillips’s solo blindside try ought not to have been allowed because it broke the law over the taking of a quick lineout.

The officials failed to spot a double illegality behind the score which enabled Wales to secure the win they deserved and head to Paris in pursuit of £3 million as runners-up instead of £2.25 million for finishing third.

Law 19, section two, clause C states: ‘For a quick throw-in, the player must use the ball that went into touch. A quick throw-in is not permitted if another person has touched the ball apart from the player throwing it in.’

That a ball-boy handed Wales hooker Matthew Rees a different ball is not in dispute despite the referee and one of his assistants allowing the subsequent try to stand.

"How they could get that wrong is indefensible," said Howard, at 60 still involved in the Six Nations as an analyst.

Despite technology being limited to in-goal decisions, Kaplan could have asked the television match official, Geoff Warren, of England: ‘Is there any reason why I cannot award the try?’ He did not do so but did ask his assistant, Peter Allan, of Scotland, whether the same ball had been used for the throw.

His answer in the affirmative was enough for Kaplan to award the try and ignore heated protests from Irish players urging him to go upstairs for an action replay.

"We were robbed," said Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll.

"You have a service available to cover all bases. That’s what the TMO is there for. What’s the point if you don’t use him?

"Everyone is human and wrong calls are made the whole time. That one was a hugely illegitimate try which, in the end, has made all the difference between winning and losing.

"Everyone in the stadium knew the ball had been touched by a ball-boy. It beggars belief. If I was in the wrong on something like that, I’d be embarrassed."

Meanwhile, SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray has confirmed Kaplan made an error in the controversial penalty he awarded the Rebels at the end of their Vodacom Super Rugby Week 2 game against the Brumbies which resulted in Danny Cipriani landing the kick to win the match.

Brumbies prop Salesi Ma'afu gave a Rebels player little more than a shove after a scrum collapsed and Kaplan awarded the penalty.

"I think Jonathan would be the first one to say, in hindsight, he would have preferred not to have given that penalty," Bray said.

"It was just one of those unfortunate decisions that he'll learn from."

According to SANZAR's match appointments for the coming weeks in Super Rugby, Kaplan has not been awarded a match until Week 8 when he will handle duties in the all-South African match between the Sharks and Lions in Durban on Saturday, April 9.


  • Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 09:31

    Kaplan has been pathetic of late and how he did not see the kicked ball go into the crowd, nevermind out of touch, should disqualify him to referee any future games. Really pathetic to be honest!!

      Neo - 2011-03-14 10:53

      Agreed ... This is not the first time Kaplan is guilty of the exact same mistake. Anyway, good for the Irish that took that quick tap and scored when JS was asked to talk to the guys.... justice!

      Ghecko - 2011-03-14 11:10

      Refs make bad decisions all the time I feel little for the Irish because of that tap and go against the boks ........Karma it does feel good

      Durasmart - 2011-03-14 11:55

      In this case, the guy who was at fault was the assistant referee. It is part of his duties as a linesman to ensure that the correct ball is used and if not should immediately alert the on-field referee without him having to even ask for it.

      tonno - 2011-03-14 11:59

      Why must the blame lie with Kaplan? Yes, he was the onfield ref and ultimate enforcer of the rules, but he sought the advice from his touch judge. He was unsure, so he asked the touch judge if the same ball was used. The touch judge, who should have been closer to the play, confirmed that it was the same ball. If there was doubt in his mind he should have spoken up. Having received confirmation that the same ball was used, was Kaplan meant to say, "Err, umm, I don't believe you, let me go upstairs" ?? He can't be expected to see EVERYTHING on the field, but he did do what was expected of him. Of course he probably should have seen what happened to the ball - and for that he made a blunder. But he was man enough to admit that he was unsure, so he asked his assistant, who got it wrong. I really don't see why Kaplan should hold the blame.

      tonno - 2011-03-14 12:08

      Why must the blame lie with Kaplan? Yes, he was the onfield ref and ultimate enforcer of the rules, but he sought the advice from his touch judge. He was unsure, so he asked the touch judge if the same ball was used. The touch judge, who should have been closer to the play, confirmed that it was the same ball. If there was doubt in his mind he should have spoken up. Having received confirmation that the same ball was used, was Kaplan meant to say, "Err, umm, I don't believe you, let me go upstairs" ?? He can't be expected to see EVERYTHING on the field, but he did do what was expected of him. Of course he probably should have seen what happened to the ball - and for that he made a blunder. But he was man enough to admit that he was unsure, so he asked his assistant, who got it wrong. I really don't see why Kaplan should hold the blame.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 12:20

      @tonno. My view is simply that whether the same ball was used or not is irrelevant in this case. Once the ball was touched outside the field of play, a quick throw in is not allowed, even IF the same ball was then used to do the quick throw in. Kaplan disregarded this law and asked the wrong question to the Assistant Referee. Yes, the Assistant Referee was also wrong and should also receive a good spanking, but Kaplan is the "in charge" and ultimately responsible.

      Andrew - 2011-03-14 23:34

      Whether it was the same ball was a very relevant question, I looked at the footage and it wasn't the same ball, the ball boy handed the Welsh player a new ball in front of the Associate referee, Kaplan wasn't sure so he asked. In this case Kaplan did not get the correct information and it is very unfair to blame him, I know he isn't the best around, none iof the SA refs are on par at the moment.

      lenand40 - 2011-03-15 10:09

      @tomo Kaplan could have asked for the TMO, if in doubt.

  • Neutedop - 2011-03-14 09:32

    Learn from....he is the most capped test ref. They must get fined/fropped and public analyze like all players - stop covering for each other - wankers!

      Neutedop - 2011-03-14 10:30

      Rob - the comment was about the Aussie match where he was wrong. Cost a coach his job - was all they needed to fire him. Please read and comment - not like the wanker you are!

      Erich - 2011-03-14 10:48

      Guys, it was a mistake by the lines men, its funny how the rest of world have had crap refs for so long and now Kaplan makes 1 mistake and you sell him down the river If you as a coach lose your job because of one call then you should not have the job in the first place, do you watch rugby

  • Rumbler - 2011-03-14 09:36

    Mistakes in matches, especially tests are unfortunate. They happen all the time. Only greater use of technology will minimise mistajes on the field. There are also two assistant refs! (linesman) and name one ref that has not made one, no many, mistakes. Refs are human, only God is perfect. Lyndon Bray lives in a glass house and needs to keep his trap shut!

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 09:42

      Rumbler, this was more than a mistake. A referee making such a mistake is not worth his salt. Maybe check out the clip and look closely at where the Irish kick the ball and then where they take a quick throw in.

      The Patriot - 2011-03-14 09:51

      Totally agree, players cheat as often as they can, play the game as close to the rules as possible as well. Lyndon has messed up more games with his whistle then any other reff in the business so he should shut the hell up. Kaplan is probably the most consistent and fair reffs out there.

      Gerhard - 2011-03-14 09:57

      Well. maybe god must ref the next game then!!

      Adrian - 2011-03-14 10:14

      @ Met Uysh! . There is nothing wrong with where they take the quick throw. The Irish kicked it out just outside the 10 yard line , and thats roughly where they take the throw. Besides thats where the linesman has his flag up anyway. Kaplan is not my favourite ref ( i think he's k@K) but i don't think he is to blame. He asked the linesman , got an answer (albeit the incorrect one) and awarded the try on that basis. There is so much off the ball crap the ref must watch , plus ever player wants to talk to him about every incident while they're running to the lineout , he can't watch everything - thats why he has linesman.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 10:34

      @Adrian. From what i saw, Kaplan was watching the ball go into touch. My reference to where they took the throw in was the distance from where the ball went into the crowd and where the AR stood. The AR and Kaplan both were watching the ball go into touch. Kaplan should have never needed to ask the AR if the same ball had been used as he was watching the ball going into the crowd. I get your point about off the ball play, but Kaplan WAS in fact watching the ball go out.

      Stox - 2011-03-14 11:15

      @ Met Uysh If Kaplan saw the ball go out and noticed that another ball was used, why would he ask "was another ball used?". Conspiracy theory? Did the devil make him do it? Was it George Bush?

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 11:19

      @Stox: Well, we should ask Kaplan why he was worried about a different ball being used, since, as far as I know and everyone else, if the ball touches anyone outside the field of play you may not throw it in quickly. So, a different ball was not the problem. Kaplan obviously forgot the law which states that a quick throw may not be allowed if the ball touches someone outside the field of play. And anyone should (and did) assume when the ball was kicked into the crowd, a quick throw may not be taken, and everyon saw that. Check the footage and you will see that.

      Ryanbrew - 2011-03-14 13:53

      Well at the same time as Kaplan making a mistake, what about the Welsh that CHEATED then. "If" everybody knows that you cannot take a quick throw in once somebody else has touched, why did the Welsh try???? We can only assume then that they cheated. Players push the laws the whole time, they try to break the rules all the time. Richie McCaw has admitted that he gets away with a lot, and will continue doing so until he gets caught. Our real focus then should not be on the ref who made the wrong call and judgement, but rather on the player who should also know the rules, took a chance, and got away with it... that would basically mean that they CHEATED!

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 14:06

      @Ryanbrew. Yes, the Welsh cheated. Bunch of nillies.

      lenand40 - 2011-03-15 10:11

      God is not perfect either. Ask the people of Japan, Haiti, New Orleans, etc

  • Jim - 2011-03-14 09:39

    Kaplan was in posing mode at the time, give him a break.

      Rob - 2011-03-14 10:14

      LOL! Him and Lawrence

  • NV - 2011-03-14 09:41

    It was Ireland who scored a quick-tap try while John Smit turned his back to talk to his team in 2004. Justice!!!!

      birdman - 2011-03-14 10:14

      I was going to mention this as well, but you beat me to it - how the wheel turns - Justice at last! But, it's time for South Africa's refs to stop thinking that they're better than the rest of the world. All I've got to do is think about Mark Lawrence and I want to throw up!

      Wynand - 2011-03-14 10:19

      finally :D, and that ref wasn't fined - so why should Kaplan be.

      Neo - 2011-03-14 10:49

      Same thing came to mind ... justice!!!

  • windkind - 2011-03-14 09:49

    Ah, love how the Irish are bleating about this - the wheel has simply turned. They beat the Boks based on a ref blunder (Paul Honiss) in 2006. Ain't life a bitch.

      burtfred - 2011-03-14 10:56

      Exactly. What goes round, comes round. The Ireland fly half cheated against the Springboks, and the Ref let him get away with it.

      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:16

      It wasn't the Irish bleating about it. It was the English commentators. Kaplan was wrong and should be man enough to apologise. It wasn't ONE problem it was TWO. The wrong ball was used and the original ball was touched. Finished and Klaar!

      StaalBurgher - 2011-03-15 00:22

      Oh, I can guarantee you the Irish are bleating about it...

  • Robbie - 2011-03-14 09:49

    Payback time for the irish ref that robbed us (Remember the "Go talk to your players",then allows a quick tap for the irish)

      Jim - 2011-03-14 10:19

      Honiss, an Irish ref?

  • Bonzer - 2011-03-14 09:54

    Payback, I feel f...all for Ireland.As for BOD, he is the most precious little whinger to ever play rugby.

  • karl.wortmann - 2011-03-14 09:55

    I'd blame the linesman for that, not Kaplan.

      Gilgamesh - 2011-03-14 10:03

      Agreed, the linesman got it wrong. If he had said no or that he didn't know, Kaplan could have changed his request to the TMO.

  • GT - 2011-03-14 09:58

    All you okes are full of it. You don't even know the rules yourself! That was not Kaplan's call it was the linesman. Kaplan asked the linesman "Was the correct ball used" Linesman say 'YES". Kaplan did his job, the linesman messed up. TMO CANNOT BE CALLED!!! That is an IRB problem THE LAWS OF THE GAME OF RUGBY 6.A.7 REFEREE CONSULTING WITH OTHERS (a) The referee may consult with touch judges in regard to matters relating to their duties, the Law relating to foul play, or timekeeping. (b) A match organiser may appoint an official who uses technological devices. If the referee is unsure when making a decision in in-goal involving a try being scored or a touch down, that official may be consulted. (c) The official may be consulted if the referee is unsure when making a decision in in-goal with regard to the scoring of a try or a touchdown when foul play in in-goal may have been involved. (d) The official may be consulted in relation to the success or otherwise of kicks at goal. (e) The official may be consulted if the referee or touch judge is unsure if a player was or was not in touch when attempting to ground the ball to score a try. (f) The official may be consulted if the referee or touch judges are unsure when making a decision relating to touch-in-goal and the ball being made dead if a score may have occurred. (g) A match organiser may appoint a timekeeper who will signify the end of each half. (h) The referee must not consult with any other persons.

      mike - 2011-03-14 10:03

      Yeah people are dumb, its was not his call and also the TMO can not be used for that type of decision. Time to direct the anger at the linesman not the Ref...

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-14 10:06

      AGREE - that is what I have been saying to folk since Saturday evening. The linesman controls the line, he was asked a question, he replied 'correct ball' - end of.

      birdman - 2011-03-14 10:20

      Yes, we're all off sides! PRRRREEEEP! Penalty! You must be a ref yourself, or quickly used technology and Googled the abovementioned RULES! Whatabooytjie!

      Durbsviking - 2011-03-14 10:41

      GT - don't confuse all the Monday Morning Referees here with the facts boet. Why should knowing nothing about the laws of rugby stop them from venturing an opinion. Fact is the players try and cheat whenever they can. The ref makes about 5 decisions per second while play is on, Kaplan gets roasted for a single one that was not even his call. Then every armchair critic gets on his case. Tsk, tsk.

      Neyven - 2011-03-15 06:07

      I agee. The assistant ref need only keep his flag up for the throw-in to be disallowed and the line-out to be re-taken. A while ago the referees were very strict on the game re-starts, insisting that they should be taken from the kicker's own half, I see the kickers are sneaking over the halfway line again. As for penalties; sometimes they are taken up to four steps ahead of the penalty spot. In the old days that resulted in a scrum for the opposition at the penalty spot. The binding in the scrums by the loosies is also becoming a problem again. The'not held' in a tackle is a farce. My feeling is that when a tackled player's knees touch the ground he must release the ball, especially so when a tackling player can be penalised for not releasing.

      lenand40 - 2011-03-15 10:22

      That is not correct. How can Kaplan ask if the right ball was used, when he saw the ball being kicked to the crowd? Fact is, he asked the wrong question. He could as well asked if the flyhalf was wearing number 10. There are two rules which were breached, but even an idiot would have clearly seen the ball going into the crowd. So, his question should have been "did anyone outside of field of play touch the ball". Whether it was the same ball or not is immaterial as the first instance related to whether the ball was touched by outside influence. Therefore, Kaplan was wrong to ask a stupid question. The linesman answered incorrectly to an irrelevent question.

      Sapientia - 2011-03-22 18:01

      @GT Talk about full of it... Rugby has LAWS not RULES. There is no such thing as a "LINESMAN." Rugby uses "ASSISTANT REFEREES." Also, cut & paste doesn't make you an expert.

  • Ragged-Tooth - 2011-03-14 10:04

    Ass. ref definitely at fault here, Kaplan asked the correct question and his assistant referee got the call wrong, not Kaplan. If the Assistant ref was unsure he should have said so. Though I'm by no means a Kaplan fan, one must keep the facts in view.

  • AJ - 2011-03-14 10:08

    So actually it is the lineman at fault. Kaplan asked him and he replied in the affirmative. What's Kaplan supposed to say "Rubbish I dont believe you!"?

  • Wynand - 2011-03-14 10:19

    Kaplan asked the linesman if it was the correct ball. Obviously he did not see.. if the linesman did not see either he should have said so. I am sure Kaplan would have then gone to the TV ref if neither of them saw what happened. But the linesman claimed it was the right ball and when asked are you sure he said Yes. There is nothing wrong in trusting your assistant so blame the linesman and not Kaplan.

  • sonnyg - 2011-03-14 10:20

    Is is not the first time a ref has got a quick lineout wrong and wont be the last time. It is the touch judges responsibility to ensure the correct ball is used. So if anything the touch judges should be blasted. Having said that Kaplan has not been in the best of form this year.

      birdman - 2011-03-14 10:38

      The linesman & ref in the England/Scotland match never got it wrong. England took a quick thow-in from a "new" ball. The ref blew, but the players never heard the whistle and play finally stopped some 50m away from the line out. It was clear that the linesman pointed this out to the ref who took appropriate action.

  • Jan - 2011-03-14 10:24

    The assistant referees are as good as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking competion.

      Kudubul - 2011-03-14 10:59

      Jan Carstens cover youre face or someone will start facebook you shortly! Use TWITTER! You can thank me later

  • Greegs - 2011-03-14 10:26

    Kaplan has been far from good over the past year. He might be the most capped but at the moment, the most useless! They should be yellow carded and fined for these type of things!

  • Stox - 2011-03-14 10:26

    I think this is a tad unfair. True, Kaplan is in charge of the game, but the person who this article should be 'blasting' is the line judge. Kaplan didn't see so consulted his colleague and asked him if it was the same ball, this is where the line judge should have said 'I didn't see it either' in which case Kaplan would have gone to the TMO, or say 'no it wasn't' in which case there would be no issue. Kaplan asked for assistance and got the wrong advice. I think he assumed that the line judge would have told him if the try was illegal in anyway and so trusted him. The only thing he is guilty of is not making 100% sure, and for taking his eye off the ball for the briefest of periods, which all refs have to do from time to time. The Welsh dude who threw the ball in is a bit of a scallywag as well. Unless he doesn't know the rules either. Some people make me laugh. The man is one of the best, (probably THE best) ref in the world and one mistake which wasn't even entirely his fault and all of a sudden he's "pathetic".

      Jim - 2011-03-14 13:09

      Not all of a sudden he has always been pathetic.

  • zane.blignaut - 2011-03-14 10:29

    Its about time some other sides receive the short end of the Refs decision, I stand by Kaplan as the linesman gave the incorrect info to Kaplan and he based his descision on that... But the attitude of the Irish is disgusting, how many times have the Springboks battled with Refs and we get threatened with being expelled from RWC... I also remember a ref asking John Smit to speak to his men and Ireland taking a quick penalty that resulted in a try.... mmmmmmm TIME FOR YOU TO EAT SOME HUMBLE PIE!!!

  • Bill - 2011-03-14 10:29

    30 players chase after an odd shaped ball and make, on average, around 125 mistakes during a test match. That is about 4 per player. The ref, who is appointed to adjudicate the mistakes made by the players, is not allowed to make a single mistake without the sideline observers slating him and demanding he be sacked/fined/hung, drawn and quartered. Lets see some of you grab a whistle and do better.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 10:39

      I'd love to get a job like that, refereeing and flying the world over, getting paid huge bucks. And if I had that job, I'd make sure I limit mistakes and not make dubious decisions by missing obvious things, like allowing a quick line out when I see the ball being kicked directly out of touch into the crowd..

      The Patriot - 2011-03-14 10:57

      If he saw the ball go into the crowd, why did he ask the assistant ref (Linesman) it it was legit? You assume he saw the ball then stand in judgment?

      Stox - 2011-03-14 11:01

      Dear Met Uysh! Buddy, how many times must people say it. Kaplan went according to the rule book and was let down by OTHER (read: line judge) people. According to the rule book (the same rule book your using to slate him), he followed protocol correctly. The job he gets paid "big bucks" to do is to ref the game on the field. The job the line judge gets paid "probably less big bucks" to do is to judge on matters, oddly enough, to do with the touch line. Ipso facto, it is the LINE judge who failed in his duties judging the LINE. See a pattern? I'll give you a hint: it has to do with the word "LINE". You just for some unknown reason don't like Kaplan and don't understand the rules of rugby. So, according to the rule book (the book with all the rules in it), Kaplan was actually completely correct. I would love to see how many equally little mistakes you make in your job (or studies, or life in general) that you don't, and should, get blasted for. It's so strange to me how people just randomly run around screaming bloody murder about stuff they have no idea about, for ABSOLUTELY no reason. If you lived a few hundred years ago you'd be running around shouting: "She's a witch you say? Well then burn her!".

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 11:26

      @Stox, you don't know me so your personal comments carry no weight. PLay the ball, not the man. Kaplan's decision was pathetic because: 1. He saw the ball go into touch directly from the kick and while seeing it he runs towards where the ball was kicked from. The footage shows clearly how the ball goes into the hands of the crowd. This occured behind the Assistant Referee's back as he was positioned with his back to the crowd. Kaplan was not, he was positioned facing the ball and the crowd. 2. His question to the Assistant Referee was "Was the same ball used" not if it was legit. He did not ask the assistant referee "Did the ball touch anyone in touch" because if he did, it would have been proof that he was not sure whether someone touched the ball or not, and hence it would have been proof that he remembered this law. Had he done so, it might well have transpired that using a different ball for the throw in and the Assistant Referee erring in this regard was irrelevant, because even IF Wales used the same ball (which they didn't and I agree its the responsibility of the AR to see that) it should still not have been allowed as the ball already touched the people in the crowd. If Kaplan was on the ball, he would have checked for that and while everyone has a role to play, Kaplan is still the in charge and can overrule the "Assistant" Referee if he deems appropriate.

      Jim - 2011-03-14 11:57

      I agree with Met Uysh,if Kaplan had not stopped to comb his hair,he would clearly have seen the ball go into the crowd,and hence no need to ask the linesman anything.

      Stox - 2011-03-14 12:08

      I never judged you on anything that wasn't present in your opinions. Read it again. I'm going after what you said, matey, because it's unwarranted and incorrect. You didn't mention anything about the line judge being responsible and didn't address that point at all. 1) It's the job of the linesman to judge what happens behind the line, as the ref needs to judge what is happening on the field of play, like if a player is off-side when the kick is made etc. If it occurred behind the line judge's back then it is his fault for having his back turned and not paying attention to his area of the game (the line), not the ref. 2) When he asked the line judge if the same ball was used that's when the line judge, if he had done his job right, would have said "No. And someone else touched it anyway". This is what a ref relies on as he only has one pair of eyes. This is exactly why we have line judges with the mandate of making sure that they know what is happening outside the field of play. Kaplan can overrule the line judge only if he happens to know that the line judge has made a mistake, which he clearly didn't as he asked the line judge what transpired outside the field of play. It doesn't matter the wording he used, he asked the line judge and gave him the opportunity to tell him that it wasn't a try and HE made the error by not doing so. The line judge didn't pay attention and gave the wrong advice. My issue is that you are crucifying Kaplan for another mans mistake. End.

      Stox - 2011-03-14 12:19

      It fascinates me that people have completely ignored the assistant ref saying that "it was the same ball" when it wasn't. And that he was given the opportunity to tell the ref that the try was illegal but didn't. Let me spell it out: 1) The error occurred out side the field of play by the touch line. 2) It is the LINE judges job to officiate what happens outside the LINE. 3) The ref needs ASSISTANCE from ASSISTANT refs (like the LINE judge) 4) The ref asked the LINE/ASSISTANT ref for ASSISTANCE on what happened outside the LINE. 5) He got the wrong advice as: 6) The ball wasn't the same one. 7) The line judge said it was. 8) The line judge also didn't mention that the ball was touched. 9) Mistake by the line judge 10) BESIDES that, if the line judge had made the right call and had been paying attention then he would have said "it was a different ball" and that would then allow the ref to disallow the try 10) Why is this so hard to grasp?

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 12:29

      @Stox. I think you are the one who is not grasping the concept. Did you actually go and view the footage? If you had seen the game and saw the footage of the incident, you would understand why the focus is not at all on the AR's blunder, because had Kaplan done his job, the AR's blunder would have been irrelevant! Go and watch the footage. Look at: 1.How Kaplan watches on as the ball is kicked into touch. 2. How Kaplan watches as the Ball boy hands the ball to the Welsh player who throws it in. Now if Kaplan did knew his job, whether the ball boy handed the player the same ball or not is irrelevant. The fact that the Ball boy was touching the ball and giving it to the player, right in front of Kaplan, is the issue. If you do not get this, go read up again in the laws and look at the footage. Its no crusade against Kaplan, its pure honest observation.

      Stox - 2011-03-14 12:40

      Lol. Ofc I watch it. I watched the game as well. And I know exactly what you're saying. And like I have said before, Kaplan is the most experienced ref there is and I'll bet my bottom dollar that he knows about that rule. I just watched the video again to make sure I'm right and I'm now sure that Kaplan did not see the ball being handled or switched. His head was facing in the general direction but he wasn't necessarily looking at the ball being touched. That is the job of the linesman. He had 92342384 other things that he could have been looking at. He turns his head when the ball bounces and it's only after that that the ball goes into the crowd. I promise you dude, the guy knows that rule. I've been watching him from the start and he's one of the most competent refs out there. Even when he refs when the Sharks lose I don't bitch about him. And let me tell you that me not bitching about a ref in at least one way when the Sharks lose is a very rare occurrence.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-03-14 13:01

      Fair call Stox, I believe he saw it at least once out of the two times the ball touched someone outside the field of play, you believe he didn't while facing in the general direction of the ball. It's not like there was pom-pom girls with high kicks showing off their udnderwear near the ball, so I do not know what else he would look at other than the ball outside the field of play. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt. If I look at the footage I notice the AR bab,ling lots of stuff to Kaplan, I can't quite make it out, and I think Kaplan could not either. He was already a tad irate with all the Irish players questioning him. So he stops the AR and asks him "Was it the same ball" to which the AR wrongly answers "Yes" and he then immediately awards the try. He doesn't ask him if the ball was touched or if the ball was handed to the Welsh player by someone else. I believe, at the very least, if Kaplan was unsure of the ball being touched outside (by the crowd and the ball boy before handing it over) he should at least then have asked the AR firstly, if the ball was touched. He didn't. Now, I am not saying he didn't see the ball being handed over or not being touched, this is just assuming he didn't.

  • Sandile van Heerden - 2011-03-14 10:34

    And I though Kaplan just didn't like the Lions. Good to see he 's just a bad ref after all!

      Stox - 2011-03-14 11:10


      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:26

      Kaplan was the REFEREE for the day. The buck stops with him! He saw the ball being kicked into the crowd! Finished and Klaar!

  • seeps.mazi - 2011-03-14 10:38

    Take the rough with smooth you whinging Irish............. always hard done by when it goes against you/ STFU!!!

      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:28

      Nobody whinges as much at the English. The Irish are good sportsmen STFU!!!!! You probably didn't even watch the bloody game mazi! Just have to put your two penny's worth on something you know nothing about!

  • Ingwe - 2011-03-14 10:38

    LOL if this has happened to The Boks during the RWC the News24 forum would have gone into meltdown. To all you Boks supporters that always blame the ref when the Boks lose remember bad calls happen to all teams, not just the Boks. And by the way I support the Boks I just don't support bad losers who are always looking for an excuse when their team loses.

  • Tyrone - 2011-03-14 10:39

    Maybe a bit of Justice for the try Roland O'Gara scored against us while John Smit was talking to the team. The wheel turns for everyone, ha ha

  • Jo - 2011-03-14 10:42

    No Irish Man cried foul when O'Gara scored his controversial try against the Springboks..... "Go talk to your Players"

      pop101 - 2011-03-14 10:59

      Jip, that was a disgrace.

  • zooma.lema - 2011-03-14 10:45

    As the syaing goes: "The wheel is turning". Remember how the Springboks were robbed of a game won a few years ago against the same Irish, when the referee told John Smith to talk to his team after an infringement and when they got together to do so, the Irish tapped the ball quickly and score a try, when nobody was defending... remember. Well, well Irish it is not the time to complain about the ref now. You didn't do then. Now you got first hand experience of a referee oversight. That is exectly how SA felt on that day. Cry babies.

  • molefeP - 2011-03-14 10:48

    High time they hold referees responsable for their mistakes.

      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:29

      Too true! Too many of them stuffing up in both rugby and football. They've become gods!

  • Springbok 2011 WChamps - 2011-03-14 11:02

    IN 2004 Paul Honiss awarded IRELAND a penalty inside the South African 22 and signalled for John Smit to talk to his players regarding their repeated infringements at the break-down. While Smit's back was turned, O'Gara took a quick tap and ran in for the TRY. The whole SA was bitter at Honiss, well sorry for you IRELAND now you also know what it feels like.....heheheheh

      Jim - 2011-03-14 12:07

      Irish should have had a penalty try anyway for repeated infringements,Honiss a good southern hemisphere

      AJ - 2011-03-14 13:31

      @Jim - yes a penalty try would have been great, I suppose. God forbid the Irish actually have to score one in open play when the oppositions are not in a huddle behind the posts. Embarrassing rubbish that was...

  • Jasber - 2011-03-14 11:04

    The problem with many refs is that when they get on the field they think that they are God's and therefore beyond reproach - they are normally short abrasive little men who have big complexes and were not able to successfully get into any rugby teams so this is their way of venting their frustration - they are necessary nuisances

      Jack Turner - 2011-03-14 11:11

      Brilliantly said pal......

  • Jack Turner - 2011-03-14 11:08

    Irrespective of who's to blame.... ..Kaplan is such a big deal " Prick"...I hope they roast the Smuck. Dont Blame the linesman.I think he was French, and possibly did not quite understand the Cape Town idiot.Maybe he should give the Routeltte Wheel and the Ponies a break, and concentrate on his Refereering Job.............

      Steveshweti - 2011-03-14 12:09

      You're dreaming Jack, he's still one of the best refs in world rugby and yes you can blame the AR, it was his fault!

      The Patriot - 2011-03-14 17:26

      So I take it you dont like referees then?

  • burtfred - 2011-03-14 11:10

    I watched the video - Kaplan cannot be blamed for this. He asked the assistant referee if it was the correct ball and was told that it was. Blame the touch judge and the cheating Welsh players involved for this unfair try. The Welsh players should know the laws and they knew that it was a different ball. The Irish had stopped playing because they saw the ball that was kicked had been touched by spectators. The Welsh took a chance and got away with it. They knew they had done wrong.

      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:32

      Kaplan was watching that ball being kicked into the stands. So the other ball is irrelevant. The balls that went into the stands was touched. Kaplan was looking at the ball so why didn't he stop the quick throw in. Kaplan had a bad game and should have the balls to admit it.

  • Toby - 2011-03-14 11:21

    KAPPIE, Ignore all this unadulterated bullshit. When the critics have reffed any rugby game at any level or bonus, played a rugby game at any level, they may have a view to share that adds value.What we have here is opinions. Opinions are like an asshole, everybody has one ! !

      burtfred - 2011-03-14 21:33

      That's arse, not ass, poephol.

  • andrew.c.seymour - 2011-03-14 11:23

    Wow, unbelievable. If anyone actually watched the game, Kaplan spoke to the touch judge directly and asked if the correct ball had been used, as he was quite a distance away from where the "quick" lineout was taken. ie not Kaplan's fault.

      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:33

      Why did he ask the touch judge if the correct ball had been thrown in? Was he doubting his own decision?

  • Kapt KK - 2011-03-14 11:27

    The bottom line is that the Welsh, in essence, cheated and got away with it. It says quite a bit about their character. I don’t have much respect for them anymore.

      zooma.lema - 2011-03-14 12:11

      When the Irish emigrate to Australia the IQ in both countries increase.

      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:34

      Stupid joke!

  • Devon - 2011-03-14 11:50

    Kaplan asked the assistant ref if it was the right ball and the assistant said yes!! In that situation, Kaplan was not allowed to call for the TMO and did the only thing he could. I don't see how he is at fault here...

  • Neil Coningham - 2011-03-14 11:52

    What a rubbish article and even worse headline! Kaplan wasn't sure if it was the same ball or not so asked the assistant referee and he answered 'yes'. Therefor the blunder is that of the AR and not Kaplan!

      gizzy - 2011-03-14 14:35

      The problem wasn't just the second ball. It was that the original ball was kicked into the crowd which means it was touched by somebody in the crowd. Nevermind the fact that the ball boy touched it as well. And Kaplan was watching that ball. By the way did you watch the game?

  • Lionel - 2011-03-14 12:07

    The problem with all referees in soccer and rugby, and umpires in cricket, is that the body which overseas them makes them untouchable and bigger than the game itself. They are protected from any form of criticism, even if it is deserved and they where blatantly in the wrong. Top referees and umpires live a wonderful life not to mention the financial gain and flying at least business class around the world and staying in 5 Star Hotels.

  • deneiler - 2011-03-14 12:23

    Kaplan is not at fault, he confirmed with the touch judge, the latter should have told Kaplan to rather refer it to the TMO as he was unsure but instead he gave Kaplan the nod that the throw in was legal. Its not enough that our Boks are often at the short end of overseas ref's, now they take aim on our refs as well....kak man!

  • Chris - 2011-03-14 13:06

    How the big wheel turns... I can remember the Irish scoring a rather dubious illegitimate try in 2004 against the Springboks. O'Driscoll and co were more than happy to accept their good fortune then, prehaps they should take their fair share of misfortune now? Mistakes happen in every sport at every level... life goes on...

  • Leon Janse van Rensburg - 2011-03-14 13:16

    Hehe remember what happened to SA at dublin a few years back with paul honnis. SORRY ireland but you'll have to except it just like us.

  • etienne.smit - 2011-03-14 14:00

    remember that try that Ronan O'Gara scored against the boks when the ref said that John Smit must talk to his players. Justice is served

  • Squire - 2011-03-14 14:05

    Ahhhhhh shaaame! Are these the same Irish who took a quick tap to score while John Smit was talking to our players behind the try line (on the referees orders!).....what goes around comes around...

  • Zion - 2011-03-14 14:06

    Kaplan has always been seen as the darling referee in an international context where the Irish refs come a nasty second or more. Now South Africans can, if they want to, see Kaplan as at the same level as all the others: Just another referee. Justice would be done only if Kaplan was big enough to admit he made a mistake.

  • Claude - 2011-03-14 15:15

    The Assistant Referee is mainly to blame but Jonathan Kaplan could have been more on the ball - excuse the pun. I don't think Assistant Refs do a very good job and the rules should be changed. If the TMO sees an obvious mistake he should also notify the Ref. I believe in technology - its there so use it.

  • chrisholtshausen - 2011-03-14 15:18

    Let us confess: SA-refs are in general K@K!!!! I 'm for one prefer overseas refs... Ja, even Dickinson and Walsh!

  • Dwerg - 2011-03-14 16:15

    This has a feel of justice to the SA Rugby public, surely. It wasn't all that long ago when Ireland won against the Springboks, through a quickly taken penalty (and scoring a try) after John Smit gathered the team to have a talk. I'm not excusing the referees in either instance, but that, my Irish friends, is the end result - and there is no complaining the result away!

  • Dwerg - 2011-03-14 16:18

    This has a feel of justice to the SA Rugby public, surely. It wasn't all that long ago when Ireland won against the Springboks, through a quickly taken penalty (and scoring a try) after John Smit gathered the team to have a talk. I'm not excusing the referees in either instance, but that, my Irish friends, is the end result - and there is no complaining the result away!

  • edis_pilF - 2011-03-14 18:02

    It's irrelevant whether JK saw the ball being handled by the crowd, he clearly consults the assistant ref before making his decision to award the try. I agree with Neo, not so lekker when the shoe is on the other foot is it Ireland

      ThrillerNH - 2011-03-14 22:12

      you're wrong edis. Kaplan made this mistake before in a Super Rugby match. He asks the assistant ref because the Irish players told him the wrong ball had been used. When he starts to ask the Asst Ref, Allan about it, Allan says: " It wasn't a quick throw, it was thrown in.... At which point Kaplan interrupts him and asks " Is it the correct ball?" Allan says: " It is the correct ball" It is? yes says Allan. Kaplan and Allan had both been standing at the point where the ballboy handed the ball to the Welsh Hooker. That automatically means a quick throw can't be taken. Secondly, the Hooker stepped into the field of play as he threw it. That's also illegal. Lastly, you're only allowed take a quick throw from where the ball went out on the full. so it was even taken from the wrong place, too far up the field. It doesn't matter what nationality Kaplan and Allan are (South African and Scottiish), it's about how competent they are at doing their job. The IRB needs to give clarity on this issue - because it will happen again. And let's say that it's against SA in a World Cup semi-final - will everybody have the same view as they've said on here?

  • zottomike - 2011-03-14 22:13

    The time has come for refs to be held accountable for their blunders to. For the first time I have seen a refs stuff up converted to $$$$’s and that is the real issue. One stuff up can cost a Club/ Union / Country massive loss of revenue. Why must the players be held accountable for their actions and face suspension and subsequent loss of income, yet referee’s are not effected? I must mention here that I am a Bok supporter, but a blatant forward pass by France, cost the All Blacks a rugby world cup title. A title that we hold. The loss of revenue can not be calculated. We can look for all the excuses under the sun, but remember one thing, these are refs at the top of the pecking order and are highly paid. We do not need to see club level referring here. Just as in business, a CEO of a company must make the right decisions or face the chop. Get with it guys. This is not just a sport anymore. It is a huge business where a lot of money is at stake and us the paying public deserve the best for our buck.

  • Fair View - 2011-03-14 23:08

    Where were these people last year when the irish refs effectively fixed the results of last years 3Ns? Where were they when Bakkies was suspended for correctly entering the ruck against the Lions Tour? Where were they when Paul (the cheat) Hounis gifted Ireland a try against SA by sending JSmit to talk to his men and then allowing Ireland to start the game while the boks where huddled together? Where have these chops been for the last 15 years of blatant match reffing against SA??? Seems Ireland and that chop o'driscoll only remember when things go against them but never apologise (or get embarrassed) when they blatantly fix matches. o'driscoll should remember that he should've been red carded about 6 times in the 2nd Lions test and went home with some lame injury (I still believe he was sent home in shame for his thug like actions on the field and unsportsman like behaviour - he is such a chop!). While we are on ref errors, why is nobody blowing up NZ players for lying on the wrong side of the ruck (all the time). Just watch, they always tackle, fall onto the opposition side and then lie in the way of opposition support players and No.9. Effectively slowling down opposition ball but are never penalised. I watched it happen the whole weekend long in every game played by kiwi teams and at every single ruck - unbelievable that this is not being picked up??? Don't even start on skew throw ins at lineouts - what is going on, it is like everyone can throw the ball in skew?

  • Fair View - 2011-03-14 23:20

    It seems also that forward passes are allowed and make the game more attractive, henve they are not being blown up and dodgy tries are allowed to stand. At first it was only kiwis allowed to get aways with it, it peaked in about 2006/7, where kiwis would be allowed about 6-8 fwd passes per game resulting in numerous tries and idiot media guys saying "wow they play such great rugby" - RUBBISH, they could not score a single try if the laws were applied to them as they are to other teams because they have become so used to scoring off forward passes and ofcourse illegally obtaining the ball. Now however it seems more and more teams get away with the "flat" pass - watch out NZ, the ROW is encroaching on your territory of the forward pass try. I can go on for hours about how NZ thuggery is passed of as an accident "no, I know that guy and he would never do that deliberatly" again rubbish, the tackle was dangerous and far too often kiwis are allowed to get away with is because there management use that same stupid line. I mean has Jimmy Cowan been cited for punching on Friday, was Adam Thompson cited for punching on Friday and even worse for making deliberate contact with Deon Stegmans eye area the previous week (I believe a minimum ban of 8 weeks stand for that offence, regardless if it was eye gouging or not but simply for making contact with the eye area - just ask Bismark)??? Something stinks in how this great game is being controlled - seems like official match fixing!