Bloemfontein - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské was visibly dissatisfied here on Saturday after match officials overlooked foul play incidents in his team's Super Rugby defeat to the Sharks
According to Drotské, it's unacceptable that nobody spotted several off-the-ball incidents in the Cheetahs' 18-23 reverse to the Sharks.
While the home side did not capitalise on their chances, the coach believes luck was not on the Cheetahs' side.
The Sharks had to defend manfully towards the end of the game and referee Marius Jonker rightly issued yellow cards to scrumhalf Charl McLeod and flank Keegan Daniel for illegal play.
But perhaps Jonker's assistants, Jonathan Kaplan and Cobus Wessels, should have done better to inform him of the incidents that Drotské was referring to.
"I was unhappy with three or four off-the-ball incidents. For example, Ashley Johnson was blatantly nailed with the shoulder and without arms after passing the ball. He was floored on two or three occasions," said Drotské.
"It's unacceptable that three match officials cannot spot it. Two weeks ago Rayno Benjamin was suspended for an alleged headbutt of which there was no footage. And against the Sharks there were three or four off-the-ball incidents that none of the officials spotted."
Drotské also believes that television match official Johann Meuwesen should perhaps have played a greater role in the game.
"We were over the goalline a few times and the TMO should have been consulted once or twice. Adriaan Strauss, in particular, feels that he scored and that is the difference between winning and losing."
Jonker had apparently already blown his whistle before Strauss could place the ball.
"Another turning point was when we were on the attack and Stefan Terblanche stood next to the ruck and knocked the ball down. There were four of our players against two defenders and it would have been a definite try, but we were still awarded a scrum. It does not make sense because it was definitely a yellow-card offence," said Drotské.
"We did not have luck on our side and perhaps two or three decisions also went against us."
Drotské is not concerned about the possible citing of players that were guilty of foul play.
"What do you achieve with citings? You can't change the result. One expects match officials to spot the incidents in the games themselves," he said.
"The Sharks have a good chance of still making the play-offs, but I believe we may have won the game had the incidents been spotted. But it's one of those things and we're moving on."