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    Naka: Pressure on Jonker

    2011-06-15 08:03
    Jóhann Thormählen

    Bloemfontein - The pressure is on referee Marius Jonker to show that he is able to deliver a good performance at the Free State Stadium on Saturday.

    That is the view of Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské in the wake of the announcement by SANZAR, controlling body for the Super Rugby tournament, that Jonker has been appointed for the match against the Stormers.

    Jonker came under fire about two weeks ago for getting a number of calls wrong in the Cheetahs' 18-23 defeat to the Sharks.

    Drotské has no problem that Jonker is officiating again in a game his team is playing and was sounded out about the appointment by South African referees manager André Watson prior to the announcement.

    The Cheetahs coach expressed his unhappiness with Jonker and his assistants, Cobus Wessels and Jonathan Kaplan, after the Sharks game and believes they could have had five more yellow cards. Watson also conceded that mistakes had been made.

    Drotské was satisfied with the discussions that he, Jonker and Watson had after the Cheetahs' defeat to the Sharks. Jonker now has the chance to prove himself on Saturday.

    "The air has definitely been cleared after our last game in which Marius Jonker officiated. I had positive discussions with Marius and André Watson afterwards," he said.

    "We realise that Marius can have an off day like any rugby player and he had one in the Sharks game. The pressure is on him to show that he can have a good game."

    The coach said that he and Watson had been in contact again.

    "Watson asked me how I felt about the appointment. Marius Jonker was appointed for the game a long time ago. I said I don't have a problem with it. It does not really concern me. The pressure is now on him after his previous game here."

    Apart from Jonker's appointment, Pro Legoete will be one of his assistants. Stefan Breytenbach is the other touch judge.

    Legoete recently bungled by calling a headbutt that led to a wrongful yellow card for Waratahs replacement lock Pat O’Connor.

    According to SANZAR's programme, Jonker was supposed to referee last week's match between the Sharks and Lions. However, he was replaced by Mark Lawrence. Jonker was an assistant referee in the match between the Stormers and Bulls.

    Jonker said after the game that it was a mistake by the South African Rugby Union to put down his name as referee for the Sharks game in Johannesburg.

    According to him no change was made as a result of his performance in the Cheetahs' defeat to the Sharks.

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