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Lions hold their tongues

2009-09-21 22:34
Marius Jonker (Gallo Images)
Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – The Lions are privately seething about the performance of referee Marius Jonker in Saturday’s Currie Cup defeat to Griquas.

The final whistle in the Lions’ 31-36 defeat was preceded by a decision that has left the Lions exasperated.

It relates to an incident in the last minute where a Lions rolling maul moved up to the Griquas goalline before going to ground – possibly on or over the line.

Jonker was on his knees to check whether the ball was grounded, but could not see it and decided to call both teams back for a scrum.

The Lions called a media conference on Monday where technical analyst JP Ferreira showed the incident repeatedly on a monitor.

Nobody wanted to formally express their views, but the unhappiness is about Jonker refusing to refer the incident to the television match official.

While one can ask why the incident was not referred, matches are not won or lost by one decision and Jonker was in the best position to make the call.

The Lions also believe that Griquas had transgressed the laws a number of times in the preceding rolling maul and were not penalised.

Jonker was also in the spotlight the previous weekend over a controversial penalty try that condemned Western Province to defeat against the Cheetahs.

The Lions possibly also realise that they are virtually out of the running for the semifinals of the Currie Cup. Coach Hans Coetzee said they would endeavour to win all three their remaining games.


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