Rugby

Noakes has sympathy for Bryce

2012-10-20 11:06
Tim Noakes (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - South African sport scientist Tim Noakes has shown retired Kiwi referee Bryce Lawrence some sympathy, suggesting two referees in rugby should be considered.

Retirement was earlier this week forced upon Lawrence after the vitriol he suffered from the fall-out after the Springboks' 11-9 loss to the Wallabies in the quarter-finals at last year's Rugby World Cup. He will now take up a role as the New Zealand Rugby Union high-performance referee reviewer.

Noakes told the Beeld website the idea of having an extra referee on the field - as is the case in American football - may not be such a bad idea.

"You need more than one referee in big games, especially during the Rugby World Cup. World rugby has to consider it - if a guy like Bryce Lawrence can be put under pressure, what prevents it from happening to other referees in future as well?" said Noakes.

This comes after Lawrence said in an interview with the Bay of Plenty Times that he felt pressure coming from the Australian camp after he refereed an earlier game the Wallabies lost to Ireland.

"There was some pretty nasty political stuff going on about that appointment. I refereed Australia versus Ireland and Ireland had won but behind the scenes guys like John O'Neill (the then ARU boss) were kicking up a massive stink.

"I knew a bit about that and it was enough to affect me, and it probably made me freeze on the biggest stage," said Lawrence.

Noakes feels it is important that Lawrence admitted he made mistakes. "It shows Lawrence has a conscience and maybe we can forgive him for his sins. He realised he can't live with it and made it public."

Read more on:    bryce lawrence  |  tim noakes  |  rugby
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