NZ journo: Peyper appointment ‘ridiculous’
Cape Town - Top New Zealand commentator and journalist Tony Johnson has criticised SANZAAR’s decision to appoint Jaco Peyper as referee for Saturday’s Super Rugby quarter-final between the Lions and Highlanders in Johannesburg.
South Africa’s Peyper has been appointed to referee the match at Ellis Park, while the all-New Zealand semi-final between the Hurricanes and Chiefs will be refereed by an Australian, Angus Gardner.
Writing in his weekly SuperSport.com column, Johnson questioned SANZAAR's decision.
“It is ridiculous that Jaco Peyper has been appointed to referee this game, especially as Angus Gardner will control the all-Kiwi clash in Wellington. Surely it should have been the other way round. Refs boss Lyndon Bray likes laughing at danger, it would seem,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson was also quick to laud Gardner, who made a controversial call in last Friday’s quarter-final between the Brumbies and Highlanders in Canberra.
Stephen Larkham’s men thought they had scored the winning try late in the game when reserve wing Lausii Taliauli powered over.
Gardner referred the decision to TMO George Ayoub, who said he could not see the ball being grounded. Gardner then awarded a scrum to the Brumbies, who could not force their way over and lost 15-9.
Johnson wrote: “Gardner and TMO George Ayoub were quite right to rule out the try because a) Gardner had not seen a grounding by Lausii Taliauili and therefore had to ask “try or no try?” b) the answer to that was “no try” because there was nothing on the replays to support a grounding and c) Taliauli had lost the ball anyway.
“Gardner showed admirable restraint in the face of the constant badgering of the Brumbies players, not to mention a barrage of booing from a disappointingly small crowd, and if he temporarily lost the plot right at the end and had to be reminded by the ever helpful Aaron Smith that the game was actually over, well that can be forgiven.”