Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett
has called for "sharper eyes" from referees to spot niggling off-the-ball incidents in rugby.
Mallett was speaking on SuperSport after the weekend's Super Rugby matches.
He was referring to the incident in which Sharks flank Jean Deysel
was red-carded in their match against the Crusaders in Christchurch. Deysel received his marching orders for stamping on the face of Crusaders flank Jordan Taufua in the 16th minute on the game, which the Sharks remarkably won 30-25.
Mallett agreed that Deysel deserved to see red, but is upset at what caused Deysel to lose his cool.
Taufua, who was lying on the ground, had held Deysel back before the latter retaliated in frustration.
New Zealand teams have become notorious for holding players back off the ball and it's something Mallett would like to see referees act upon.
"The player who holds you back is the one who initiates the problem. It was absolutely the right decision to send him (Deysel) off. I think a lot of what the All Blacks have done in the past is play players off the ball, hold players back, ruck past the ball and clear a player away and hold him so that he can't get into the defensive line, and that is one of the most irritating things on the field," said Mallett.
"South Africans, unfortunately, often get penalised for reacting, but what we need is sharper eyes from the referee to spot those indiscretions; the guys holding and pulling players back, because that's what causes the problems in the first place."