Mallett: Beast harassed the referee
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has criticised the way in which Sharks captain Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira is consulting with referees.
Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after last Friday’s Super Rugby clash between the Highlanders and Sharks in Dunedin.
Mtawarira constantly questioned referee Ben O'Keeffe’s decisions during his side's 15-14 win.
The Highlanders had Jason Emery sent off with a red card, but the Sharks also lost two players - Stephan Lewies and JP Pietersen - to yellow cards.
Mallett said: “The way in which Beast Mtawarira approached the ref was completely incorrect. In one instance he actually said: ‘It’s not fair, it’s not fair. You’re just trying to even things up’. Which is in a way saying that the referee is cheating and not officiating with objectivity. You cannot, as a captain, make accusations like that. When I saw where the chat originated from, the scrum had collapsed and Beast’s head was in the grass, a penalty was given and a yellow card for JP Pietersen. He didn’t even see that JP cynically grabbed a guy’s foot and deserved a card. So he comes in and harasses the referee. It’s not right.
“The same thing happened with their coach (Gary Gold), who went up to the TMO (during the match against the Crusaders) and had a full go at him. My concern with the Sharks is that there’s a culture of blame which I don’t think we need in South African rugby teams. I want our captains to handle officials better than what we saw from Beast this week and against the Crusaders a few weeks ago.”