Wakefield escapes with slap on the wrist
Cape Town - There will be no formal sanction against Western
Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield following his refereeing rant
this past weekend.
Wakefield was upset with the way Stuart Berry refereed the
Lions v Stormers Super Rugby match in Johannesburg this past weekend.
The Lions won an epic encounter 29-22 but it appears the
Stormers were not happy with Berry’s performance, especially his policing of
the breakdown area.
Wakefield took to Facebook after the game, expressing his
disappointment: "I really cannot describe the atmosphere in the change room.
Sadness. Disappointment, Robbed!!! We remain gracious in defeat. I have never
felt so sad. Have good night’s rest ‘Man in the middle’.”
Then, in an interview with the Cape Times on Sunday,
Wakefield said referees should be made more accountable for their actions. He
said referees are "better protected than the rhino".
Despite his rant, Wakefield has escaped any formal
punishment from SANZAAR.
He will, however, receive a call from SANZAAR CEO Andy
Marinos, Rugby365 reports.
Marinos told the rugby specialist website that SANZAAR was
aware of comments made by Wakefield but is “satisfied that the integrity of the
match official has not been directly attacked in this instance."
Marinos said he will raise the issue with Wakefield to
remind him that care must be taken when commenting on the performance of match
Wakefield, who was previously the Stormers and WP team
manager and then deputy president of the WP Rugby union, was first elected as
president in 2012.
In December last year he was re-elected unopposed at the
union’s 24th annual general council meeting.
He will serve in his final term for the next three years.