Let's welcome Bryce to SA

2012-02-09 14:23

JJ Harmse

There is a fantastic saying in Afrikaans that goes like this: "'n Boer maak 'n plan'". It basically means that a farmer (let’s just stick to that translation of boer) will find a way to make something work, however improbable the situation.

I think we also find some of that in the innovative way South Africans generally act when it comes to life. Our sense of humour at times is a good reflection of how we approach good times and bad times.

I could only laugh when I saw a huge group of Springboks fans walking into Eden Park an hour or so before the semi-final kick-off for the New Zealand v Australia clash of last year’s Rugby World Cup.

Many tour groups and fans arrived in New Zealand as the Springboks were leaving, as most of us, if not all, expected the Springboks to play the All Blacks in that particular semi-final. They probably boarded the plane from South Africa on the afternoon after that morning’s result and would have known that their trip suddenly turned into a nightmare.

After the disasters of Wellington and the unfortunate display of Bryce Lawrence in that quarter-final match between the Boks and the Wallabies, it was the latter who faced the All Blacks and not the Boks.

Coming back to 'boer maak a plan' and the touring group, I had to chuckle when I saw all of them wearing the traditional green T-shirts, but not with any reference to the Springboks as expected.

No, these guys has T-shirts made that read - Bryce Lawrence hunting party - and I thought it to be typical of South African humour and quick thinking, as they probably would have had hours to have those T-shirts made or even had them printed upon arrival in New Zealand.

Whether Lawrence admitted his mistakes or errors in judgment or not, he never apologised to any Springbok fan, but then, neither should he have done so.

He made mistakes, it had consequences and life went on.

Apparently not.

It seems that Lawrence might not travel to South Africa to officiate in Super Rugby matches.

In the referee appointments for the first six rounds announced on Wednesday, Lawrence featured prominently and will travel to Australia (twice) and handle two games in New Zealand as well.

He is clearly very high up on SANZAR’s pecking order if he is afforded all those games in the early weeks.

If that is the case, he should not be excused from travelling to South Africa to handle matches. In fact, if he is not prepared to travel to the Republic because of a feared backlash, he should be removed from the referee’s panel altogether.

Yes, there was this Facebook page to get rid of Lawrence, and yes, maybe someone here did make a threat while really angry, but to honestly think that the Kiwi’s life is in danger, is just too far-fetched to be true.

If Lawrence is not man enough to come here to do his job, why must he be allowed to get away with it? All referees must be treated equal and if Lawrence cannot comply with the demands of his job, he must get out of the kitchen.

Also, if SANZAR do decide that Lawrence doesn't have to travel here, they will create a very prickly situation. There is already a perception that Lawrence is getting preference because IRB referees boss Paddy O'Brien and Lawrence's father are very close and to allow Lawrence not to travel to South Africa, would certainly add fuel to that fire.

No referee should be allowed to pick his own games or have a preference on where he would like to go.
I know referees sacrifice a lot and never get the thanks they deserve, especially at the lower levels of the game, but the one thing that should never be comprised is their integrity.

If SANZAR treat Lawrence any different than the other referees on their panel, they would compromise that very integrity that they expect others to adhere to.

And once that happens, the game will be in serious turmoil.

So let us welcome Lawrence with open arms when he arrives on our shores. Let us treat him and the other referees in this year’s Super Rugby series with respect.
I was jokingly comparing referees with rhino’s to a friend of mine the other day. They are both thick skinned, believe their horn is the prettiest and both are pretty blind most of the time, but they are also an endangered species...

Read JJ every Sunday in Rapport.

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  • Lionel - 2012-02-09 14:29

    First Semi decent article by you JJ

      Dawie - 2012-02-09 18:11

      Shut up Lionel

  • Maaifoedie - 2012-02-09 14:46

    Nee, is reg: laat hom kom. Dan wys ons 'n boer maaak 'n plan met 'n fluitjiehoer wat die Bokke se moer koer. Bring hom, want ons wil en gaan hom moer.

      Christo - 2012-02-15 11:49

      Jy is reg Maaifoedie , hier moet hy gebliksem raak

  • Hot - 2012-02-09 15:17

    I for one loved flying to Auckland with all the bitter bok fans, so funny them feeling sorry for themselves, I mean the trip probably cost them around 75k per person. You could have won but didn't...better luck next time! 4 more years!!!

      Dok - 2012-02-09 18:17

      Ja hot. 4 more years of corrupt referees and fans like you who is willing to pay any amount of money to see refs like Bryce Lawrence openly and blatantly be corrupt! it is a joy for you i know, but some of us do believe that the better team win the day, not the team that has been helped by Bryce! so rejoice in your "4 more years" of being a proud corrupt Bryce supporter!

  • hendrik.pienaar - 2012-02-09 15:23

    Paddy's son is also not far away from being one of NZ's SANZAR referees. All his daddy's doing. F'ing great. Rest of the

      hendrik.pienaar - 2012-02-09 15:23

      **Rest of the young guys wanting to get serious about refereeing might as well give up. It's about who you know. Who's your daddy!!!!

  • Kevin - 2012-02-09 15:33

    Bring him on a one way ticket

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 16:02

      Damn.. ninja'd

  • Heiku - 2012-02-09 16:01

    SANZAR can save money by just buying him a one way ticket as that will be all he needs.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-02-09 16:53

    Paddy and Lawrece Snr are not just friends, they are business partners! They own racehorses together ffs.

  • Anneleen - 2012-02-09 17:24

    ...most certainly i will welcome him to South Africa...with a book titled "S15 Laws for Outlaws".

  • Jason - 2012-02-09 17:38

    Just bring him on. He will be fine and we promise not to hurt him... much

      Dawie - 2012-02-09 17:49

      @Ugly Jason He didn't cost us the WC, Schalk "knock the ball into their hands" Burger did

      Phil - 2012-02-11 14:12

      " He didn't cost us the WC, Schalk "knock the ball into their hands" Burger did " What about Danie (dumb as a stump) Rossouw who gave Aus the penalty kick that won them the game.

  • Dok - 2012-02-09 18:26

    Dear JJ Harmse. We all know that your sentiments lies with Bryce Lawrence and his corrupt ways! But please do not remind us about it every time you write about how you miss him and how much you want him to come to South Africa so that you can see in person how he screws us over! ps: we are all patriotic South africans (well those of us who do not suffer from a confused complex), so please stop defending Bryce. It actually makes us think who do you support!

      Dawie - 2012-02-09 19:12

      @Dok I agree, we all know it's Schalk and JdV (3km/h) who cost us the WC

      Phil - 2012-02-11 14:15

      Yep is all Bryces fault. Our early departure from the World Cup. The fact that Australia has beaten us 5 times out of the last seven games. The fact that we finished stone LAST in the Tri-Nations last year The fact that since the inception of the Tri-Nations we have finished stone LAST on the overall log. All Bryces fault is it ?

  • Johan Roodt - 2012-02-09 19:34

    JJ, moet ons vir jou en Bryce a kamer boek?

  • Michele - 2012-02-09 22:54

    He can come here but he is most definitely not welcome in my book.He has made to many mistakes and much to often for my liking. If ever there was call for match fixing in a rugby match his handling of that semi final is one.

      Marius - 2012-02-10 10:21

      Quarter Final.Boks did not make it to the Semi.

  • vanrooyen.gustav - 2012-02-09 23:12

    Sorry you earn respect, and he has earned fx$32all

  • vanrooyen.gustav - 2012-02-09 23:13

    Sorry, you earn respect, he has done fu&%$3all to deserve respect...

  • hannesenbrianda - 2012-02-10 04:40

    I think his risk of getting killed by a disgruntled Bok supporter is much lower than his risk of getting killed as a tourist. So this fear for his safety is just a convenient excuse to wait until most of the heat from the poor performance blows over. I think they are just postponing the inevidable. He will be haunted, cheered and booed by Bok supportes no matter where in the world he refs as Bok supporters are everywhere. Every game in SA will start with a "boo' or "cheat" if Bryce officiate until the SA rugby public gets tired of it.

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-02-10 04:42

      Maybe the word "cheat" will join "beast" and "spies" ....

      Lonne - 2012-02-11 06:42

      Hannes I wonder how the Lions supporters of 1974 felt when YOUR top ref (at the time) robbed them of a series white wash. It is always ok if the japies benefits from a refs mistakes. But boy ohh boy if the shoe is on the other foot all hell brakes loose. 1995 with the goldwatch match springs to mind. Ooops before I forget, the japies benefitted from that dubious decision so I can only assume it is ok.

  • egroeg.nim - 2012-02-10 08:10

    Well then Mr JJ , you are welcome to go to the airport and do the honers , stand there and open your arms wide and say, "welcome Mr Bryce , you are forgiven for doing us an injustice on the field." Sorry there aren't any others there to welcome you, but , they don't like what you did, it was only me. "

  • Theprodigy - 2012-02-10 09:00

    Lawrence has always received special treatment, so this is to be expected from Paddy O Brian. He (Lawrence) will never come here, & if he does we will boo him off the field (a bit like "well behaved" All Black fans did to Quade Cooper n the WC). Of course, expect the NZ influenced IRB, to continue their blatant bias against teams playing NZ, & definitely expect Bryce to go out of his way to penalize the Boks, Wallabies & others while giving McCaw every opportunity to steal the ball illegally. I said it last year & Ill say it again, the officiation stinks & will continue to favor the All Blacks as long as we tolerate it, we have to hit them where it hurts, their revenue.

  • cwboshoff - 2012-02-10 09:27

    I don't care if he recieves special treatment or whatever, he should not be allowed to referee SA games as he is clearly biased against us for some obscure reason! Sure we made mistakes on the field, but he made clear blatant refereeing mistakes, like he's an amateur!

  • miyo27 - 2012-02-10 10:51

    let him come..just don't let him leave. dumb fuggin arrogant pr!ck deserves to be paid back.

      Phil - 2012-02-11 14:17

      Who is going to "pay him back" Miyo ? Not you are typical of SA "fans" ...all big talk ...stuff all action.

  • Luvo - 2012-02-11 08:28

    Trouble is, the refs are nowadays becoming a huge factor in how the game finally pans out. Take the Chelsea-Man United game for example where the ref twice saved Man U from embarrasment by awarding 2 dubious penalties which hurt Chelsea's march. Match-fixing will definitely kill the game if these paragons of virtue are allowed to do as they please. There should be a ref perfomance evaluation committee which analyses games and the decisions taken by the ref and must have a points allocation system for good or bad decisions taken in a game which would end up in that ref having to officiate games at a lower level if their score card is poor. That will surely wake them up.

  • davidintheusa - 2012-02-14 00:12

    bad mistakes by BL or not (IMO he has never been a competent ref), we can't deny the fact that of the entire 80+ minutes, the Wallabies only spent 4 minutes in our 25 and 77% of the game in their half.... NO WAY can we blame BL for not winning that game. I say this as one of those who travelled to Kiwiland for the semis.

  • Daniel Van Wyk - 2012-02-14 13:40

    BL, jy kan somme by my kom braai ook, ken n paar ouens wat jou GRAAG wil ontmoet!!!!

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