Coenie: Save us from the refs

2011-07-14 07:30

Stephen Nell

Johannesburg – Save us from the referees!

That was the plea from Coenie Oosthuizen on behalf of loosehead props on Wednesday when he was quizzed about his excellent season with the Cheetahs in the Super Rugby tournament.

Oosthuizen (22) may make his Test debut for South Africa as a substitute in next Saturday’s Tri-Nations rugby Test against Australia in Sydney. He represented the Springboks in a tour game against the Barbarians at the end of last year.

This year Oosthuizen has caught the eye in more ways than one – whether it was with a powerful carry of the ball, a goose step or in the scrums. And in the latter instance it was not always in the manner that he wanted to as he was penalised by referees on numerous occasions.

“The season was a very funny one. We conceded a lot of penalties at the beginning of the season because referees did not really have an idea what was going on in the scrums. They never played there ... if something went wrong, the loosehead was always penalised,” said Oosthuizen.

“It made things difficult and initially I was penalised a lot. I worked on it and in the end was penalised less. I learned a harsh lesson by conceding so many penalties.

“Things are falling into place now. I played some good rugby in the Super Rugby tournament and could not ask for more.”

Oosthuizen would, however, like the powers that be to look at the interpretation of the laws so that looseheads don’t get penalised for the skulduggery of opposing tightheads.

“Most of the penalties against me were for hinging (when your backside is higher than your head). The referees gain the impression that you are hinging when the scrum collapses. It’s easy for the tighthead to dive down and then the loosehead has to keep him up.

“Any tighthead who is heavy enough will just go to ground and then the loosehead is penalised! I’m not saying the referees were always wrong, but I think the laws at the scrums should be adapted.

“Generally they penalised the looseheads more than anyone else on the field – not even the flankers were penalised as often as we were!”

Apart from a little goodwill from referees, Oosthuizen also hopes to make the Bok squad of 22 for this year’s first Tri-Nations test against Australia on 23 July.

Bulls props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger are expected to pack down either side of captain John Smit in the starting line-up.
Oosthuizen has demonstrated this year that he is much more than a scrummager.

“It’s nice to carry the ball, but if a loosehead hits 40 rucks in a game it’s also an amazing contribution. Every guy has something unique that makes him special.”

What does Oosthuizen enjoy doing apart from the things generally expected from a prop?

“I love stealing the ball! I always have a little competition going with Heinrich (Brüssow). The most I have poached in a game is six.”


  • Marcell - 2011-07-14 08:01

    The refs are confused. The scrum is a lotto. Behalwe vir 'groen handjies' van die kaap.

      GILLBERT - 2011-07-14 08:18

      haha blaauw is te min

      jk - 2011-07-14 08:34

      make a comment on the article gilbert- havnt seen you do that, its just throwing stones...

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-07-14 09:02

      @Marcell - once again you miss the point entirely. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH. Every rugby lover in the Southern Hemisphere has questioned the reffing at scrum time. Commentators, players, analysts and fans alike. I can also guarantee you, that the NH refs will bring their own scrum interpretations to the table during the international season........yet all you focus on is 'groen handjies' van die Kaap? Wake up little Suzie. And for the record, you admitted that you support Australia, not the Boks - so your continued interest in all things South African and Capetonian in particular - is CONFUSING. Unless it is more of an unhealthy obsession? If that is the case, I will humour you (as special needs folk have always been high up on my list as worthy recipients of my time)

      Dan - 2011-07-14 09:06

      The laws of rugby have become so complex and confusing for refs and players. Why did they change these laws so much over the past decade? I just feel the Aussie way of playing the game had a huge impact on the IRB boardroom when that arshole Aussie president headed the IRB. They changed all the laws to suit the "fag" style of rugby the Aussies love in an attempt to compete with their Aussie Rules. The ruck laws are even worse. If you think very practically about it, the only way a ball can emerge from a ruck is by way of hands and in terms of the letter of the law - it is illegal. Very stupid law, let the boys fight over the ball as in the 80's and years before that. The refs had no influence then, but now thay can penalize any player at the ruck - all up to the ref and that is wrong.

      docraven - 2011-07-14 09:18

      Marcell, maybe,just maybe things will come right for you personally during the Currie Cup.I think a 6 year old would be able to understand what the article is about or trying to say.With you its once again WHOOOOOOOOOOOSH.

      Grey B - 2011-07-14 10:09

      The rules are confused! Then evryone is confused. As Bob skinstadt to explain it to you. Impossible. The scrum is truly a VERY Grey area and possibly a match fixing opportunity. This actually goes for most rules. Andre Watson actually agrees. He said: if a ref would penalise every technical penalty, we would see no rugby. That means, at any given time a ref could blow, fully justified, in who ever favour he chooses.

      The Observer - 2011-07-14 14:02

      Saffa and doc - Whats your point. Reading Marcell's post actually made sense, refs are confused (we'll leave the groen hand poefters story for now). You two are the ones with an unhealthy obsession with Ace, Flyod, Marcell and the rest of the bulls supporters. En geen terugvoel, julle het klaar in julle eie hypocritical stront getrap. In any case this guy should shut his trap. No games as a bok yet and already stepping on ref's shoes. He already reminds me of Olie "die ek weet nie wanneer om my mond toe te maak nie darm is ek so dik" Le Roux.

  • Tools1 - 2011-07-14 08:21

    I like this kid. I think he has the passion to TRAP diep SPORE IN SA rugby. Pity pretorius isnt there too.

      Johan van Zyl - 2011-07-14 12:24

      @Tools1 - I like Pretorius too, but he is not ready to be a bok - he missed 49 tackles in the super rugby season, the most of anybody. If he can sort that out, I'm all for giving Pretorius a chance.

  • scorpio - 2011-07-14 08:25

    Too many rules, the ref is far too influential - its getting boring

      Obama Bin Laden - 2011-07-14 12:41

      Nothing worse than those idiot refs who try to conduct coaching clinics during the game. A refs main aim should be to have as little impact on the game as possible

  • Dan - 2011-07-14 08:59

    I rate this guy, but not really as a big scrummer. His all round play is however very impressive. I regard him more in the mould of the Australian props - not known from their scrumming, but very handy all over the field. In test matches he might struggle against a good solid pack, but he deserves his chance 100%. Maybe a great impact player!

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 10:19

      Incredible player he is... he will overtake the Beast, no doubt.

  • Hanjo - 2011-07-14 09:18

    I think we've far from seen the best of Coenie, and in seasons to come , he'll set the bar, and the stage for the next generation of prop.

      kosie - 2011-07-14 10:34

      especially with the help of os du randt

  • TheWizard - 2011-07-14 09:35

    The refs are defnitely a HUGE problem in Rugby. The biggest problem I have with inconsistent referees, especially in the scrums, is that it is hard to identify the best players in the country. If a prop gets blown up 'cause the referee is guessing what went wrong, the wrong culprit gets away with intimidating tactics. Then you will read in the papers that XYZ got a scrumming lesson and Blah Blah Blah... I Think Coenie was defnitely one of the best props in the 2011 Super rugby season Now it's time for all of us to unite behind the Bokke, irrespective of who was chosen and support our Boys...Go Bokke, make us proud!!!

  • Taff2 - 2011-07-14 10:08

    Why not go back to real scrums-forget all this crouch, pause etc. That's OK for school kids. Referees call the timing according to how they feel on the day! There is no set timing! Let the strongest man win as long as there are set rules that everyone interprets the same way

  • Makutu - 2011-07-14 10:19

    I like this guy. He's an incredibly good player. Goodluck for the future young man. You are a rare talent. You also showed the Crusaders how the game is played.

  • Marshal - 2011-07-14 10:29

    I hope this stupid part of the game does not affect the WC. A simple collapsed scrum could God forbid end up deciding on a vital WC game.

  • Makhutha Cibulele - 2011-07-14 10:45

    Bloody loooooooser is complaining

      Porra - 2011-07-14 11:25

      Bla bla! You sound like your sign , empty egg. Only a bad smell!

  • ZACommentator - 2011-07-14 10:47

    Good on you mate but watch out you may get in trouble for telling the truth

  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-14 13:11

    Coenie, those refs are a bad lot; if you try to tell them how to do their job, they might just start to take it out on you! Do what you have done so far: learn and apply their way of thinking to your game. You say yourself that in the end you were penalised less. But I agree that the laws of rugby are in a bad state - all over the board! The problem is that the lawmakers tend to patch up obvious shortcomings in stead of redrafting the complete rule. If the laws were building plans, the house would have colapsed long ago.

  • Frans - 2011-07-14 14:05

    Think it's a valid point and should be sorted out. What I would like to know while we are on the scrum topic. No one answered this question to date, why I don't know. Question: Why did Bismarck du Plessis slipped his bind with his brother Jannie to touch the Crusader no 2 in that now infamous dangerous scrum. Remember the one that Bryce Lawrence called. Any suggestions?

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