Bryce stands by his integrity

2012-01-23 14:46

Auckland - New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence has spoken candidly about his role in the now infamous Rugby World Cup quarter-final which saw the defending world champion Springboks bundled out at the hands of the Wallabies.

According to the website, Lawrence became the victim of some verbal attacks, highlighting on the fact that he didn’t award the possession dominant South Africans more penalties at the ruck.

Ironically it was a situation that had some relevance to New Zealanders, as the two point exit of the Springboks was uncannily similar to the All Blacks World Cup defeat to France four years earlier - where they too lost by two points.

However while the All Blacks were diplomatic after their result in Cardiff, Springboks captain John Smit launched an extraordinary attack on Lawrence, saying he would be happy never to be controlled in a match by him again.

The worst though was when former South African referee Andre Watson suggested that perhaps there was a hint of ‘kiwi-bias’ from Lawrence, and that is the suggestion that hurt the New Zealander the most.

Lawrence said the fallout was intense after the World Cup.

“From the quarter-final through the first two weeks after that, it was pretty hectic,” he said.

“I was getting messages via Facebook and my computer."

"Watch your back when you get here because I'm going to take you out. I can't wait for you get here so I can spit on you."

"I wasn't too worried about people telling me they couldn't wait until I got to South Africa so they could spit on me. That could happen in Te Puke, too."

Lawrence said the hardest part was the realisation he could have done better, including spending time with Paddy O’Brien dissecting the quarter-final performance.

“The criticism didn't hurt me that much because I know I didn't referee as well as I should have,” Lawrence said.

"I took a plan of not being overly technical into that game and possibly that was not the right plan."

"To then get to my biggest game and not referee anywhere near as well, I let myself down and I also let the team down. We were trying to pride ourselves on consistent performances so I felt I'd let them down."

He couldn’t deny what hurt him the most was that his actions were deliberate or underhand to benefit the World Cup hosts.

"It only really hurt when it became personal, when people started saying it was a fix-up and I'd done it so the All Blacks could get through. That hurt,” he said.

"That's an attack on your integrity and everything you stand for. The criticism that I should have refereed better, I totally accept.

"I'd done my self-review and realised I'd missed a couple of things, but you can't get overly concerned about that because I had just missed them - it wasn't as if I'd seen them and decided not to do anything."

Lawrence said that he couldn’t please everyone.

"I get people stopping me saying, 'You're doing a great job, keep it up,' but equally you get the same amount of people telling you 'you're rubbish, you're crap'.

Who do you listen to?” he said.


  • Saffa - 2012-01-23 14:53

    Who do you listen to indeed Bryce......for starters the voices in your frikkin head should be ignored.

      Maaifoedie - 2012-01-23 16:27

      Sy ma se epos!!

      Paul - 2012-01-23 16:47

      Here's an idea... all in favour of changing the name of the Webb Ellis Trophy to the "Bryce Lawrence Cup", click on like below. Let's send a petition to the IRB to change it so the All Blacks can be even more proud of their victory.

      Sean - 2012-01-23 19:29

      That d@@s must never ref again !

      Francois - 2012-01-23 21:35

      He admitted it, he let the team down by not letting Aus beat the Springboks by 30 points, yellow carding Bakkies and Morne Steyn and Butch James on the bench, because the latter warmed up during half time. Bryce, you should think about it in this way: A team that has more than 60% of the possession must do something right, not something wrong. An that two points margin is what we call in Africa a Mugabe win. It is a win, but not by enough so that one can think of blaming you for cheating. The fact that those 2 points came from a devious penalty at such a time when the Boks could not get back must make you the best ref in the game in exactly the same way that Mugabe is the best leader in Africa.

      Thomas - 2012-01-23 22:00

      Spending time with Paddy O Cheat!! He was the Instigator!! If you had missed a couple of things on both teams we could have accepted that but it was so lopsided it became farcical!! It hurt when people started saying I fixed the game!! Well Doesn"t the TRUTH USUALLY HURT!!!!!!!!!! Great job!! Your crap! Who do you listen to!! TRY YOURSELF, I didn't ref as well as I could have I was CRAP!! Between you and O Brein and a few others you managed to turn what should have been a great WC into the JOKE the world now knows it is!!!!!!

      rheinhardt.peens - 2012-01-25 10:02

      You mean he has integrity??????

  • Johan - 2012-01-23 14:55

    Get him for match fixing when he enters South Africa.

      gareth.hansen - 2012-01-23 21:00

      Just get him!

  • Julian - 2012-01-23 15:04

    Get over it guys..It`s in the history books now..GO THE REDS!!!

      Bernard - 2012-01-23 15:22

      Are you drunk

      Julian - 2012-01-24 00:11

      I may be drunk Bernie, but you `ll always be UGLY !! :)

      Lonne - 2012-01-24 00:29

      Julian these arrogant japies are the world's worst loosers. They have taken over the no.1 world's worst wingers spot from the poms. As you and I know the Web Ellis cup is FINALLY at the home of rugby where it should remain at least until 2019 now that the japies have a BB coach that only knows 1950 stockcar rugby.

      Ryan - 2012-01-24 09:17

      sheep shagger alert

      Marius - 2012-01-25 08:30

      Lonne, I'm from Levubu, in the Limpopo province. I'll buy you a first class air ticket to S.A, provide you with luxury accommodation...just so that you can repeat what you wrote here in my face. Now.....are you man enough for this face 2 face encounter, or would you rather comment from your most of the MIGHTY AB fans usually do!

  • paul.coetzee1 - 2012-01-23 15:07

    You wouldn't know intergity even it it bit you on the bum!

  • Shaun - 2012-01-23 15:09

    how can you go into a game with a precieved idea of how you going to ref. Rule are rules

      Bob - 2012-01-23 21:32

      It is Kiwi speak for we will get you.

  • Paul - 2012-01-23 15:09

    If it was a once off mistake fine but with Bryce, it has been regualr poor performances.

  • coenraadt - 2012-01-23 15:12

    "Lawrence said that he couldn’t please everyone." Idiot, we didn’t want to you please us, we wanted you to ref fairly. He can say what he likes, he go some kiwi cash for throwing that game.

      Julian - 2012-01-24 01:03

      Mate i`d look in your own backyard first, Joubert your bloke, makes kiwi Lawrence look like the ultimate professional....French were robbed in that final.

  • Skwertno1 - 2012-01-23 15:13

    For your own sake, DON'T come and ref ANY matches in RSA my friend, especially not in Kaapstad

  • Angela - 2012-01-23 15:15

    Funny thing about integrity, when you have it everyone can see it, Andre Watson and Craig Joubert being prime examples. Funny that only Bryce seems to be able to see his own integrity. Must have blown his ill gotten gains already, and now is looking for a way back in and the next payout.

      Paul - 2012-01-23 16:24

      Don't want to rain on your parade, Angela, but the worst refereeing I ever saw was by Andre Watson in the 2003 RWC final between England and Australia. Being a Bok supporter I was totally neutral, but I promise you Watson did his level best to keep Oz in the game. Fortunately England squeaked home in extra time but they should have won comfortably. Do yourself a favour and get a copy of that game. This sick refereeing scam has been around for quite some time now and it's long overdue that the rugby public show their displeasure in no uncertain terms.

      Len - 2012-01-24 10:09

      @Paul. Who is the South African referee that allowed a try from a ball that not only was kicked into the stands, but was also a different ball from that used before the kick was taken? (Ireland vs Wales) I think we are all too ready to criticise other referees, without acknowledging that refereeing in general is pathetic. In the game against Wales, we should have lost, as the ball crept in, but was denied.

  • Paul - 2012-01-23 15:17

    Come on Bryce, lets be honest you and your best mate O'Brien were just on your mission to stick it to us Japies. I understand that a ref can have a bad game once in a while, but first it happens way to often with you and its never consistent for both sides.

      Paul - 2012-01-23 15:33

      Yes Paddy we remember those emails where you and the Aussie refs were saying "we'll teach those Japies a lesson" ... after those emails were exposed you should NEVER have being allowed near a whistle again , nevermind being made HEAD OF REFFERING BY THE IRB's a disgrace , you sir are a disgrace to ALL SPORTSMAN THE WORLD OVER !!!!

      Bob - 2012-01-23 21:36

      And dear Paddy was the ref at Twickenham when Jannes Labuschagne was sent off in the firsy few minutes for a "late Tackle" on Jonny Wilkinson. Crap - I was there and yes it was a tad late - but a RED card? Result 53-3. Go Paddy!

  • Arthur - 2012-01-23 15:17

    Bryce Lawrence...even if your integrity were 100% would still not alter the fact that you are one terrible rugby referee Don't you feel ashamed to accept a prize for something that you clearly don't deserve. We have another man here in South Africa who also gets rewarded for his abject failures...his name is Julius Malema The pair of you should quit your jobs and find some work which you understand how to do

  • Garth - 2012-01-23 15:21

    What was technical calling a perfectly good pass forward when you were nowhere near the play? I call it tardiness and cheating nothing less.

  • Bernard - 2012-01-23 15:25

    Bryce you are not welcome in South Africa - it's just that simple hey

  • john.swanepoel - 2012-01-23 15:26


  • Dakey - 2012-01-23 15:28

    Funny he should choose to 'not get too overly technical' against a team like Australia who pride themselves on pushing the legal limits! Not sure where hands in the maul (5m) from your tryline stands 'technically', but I'd venture in most games it is simply illegal. Bryce and Paddy... wow now there are two ref's S.Africa never want to see together.

  • psm1th - 2012-01-23 15:31

    Well anyone who says you doing a good job is lying... You pathetic and you cost the best team the cup, the end... kapish?

      Julian - 2012-01-24 03:53

      “Everybody likes a good loser - provided it is the other team”

  • Allen - 2012-01-23 15:31

    With the admission by the "Bryce Lawrence Refereeing Show" that he didn't officiate to the best of his ability for the OZ/Bokke game is now like closing the stable door! Every team at the RWC demands a perfect refereeing performance every time. But, we see biased, poor and blind decisions made time and again. It's frustrating for those spectators who are students of the game to see basic errors overlooked which could be a turning point in a match. Based on this admission by BLRS it is now about time that SARFU sue the IRB for damages! Rediculous? No way! Our guys spent time, effort and some serious money to be at the RWC, only to be cheated out of a win by a self confessed ("To then get to my biggest game and not referee anywhere near as well") refereeing cockup. We should ask for our money back!

      Bernard - 2012-01-23 16:02

      Allen - well said : )

      Julian - 2012-01-24 04:01

      Allen inscribed on your tombstone when u go to heaven , " The sorest loser that ever lived.'”

  • Deon - 2012-01-23 15:33

    He was bad but we should have beaten them easily.

      Bernard - 2012-01-23 16:03

      Deon - he made sure that we did't beat them

      Deon - 2012-01-23 16:42

      It is a shame that our backline could not attack so well as before, the forward pass or 2 cost us dearly.

  • Dick - 2012-01-23 15:36


  • catcus1 - 2012-01-23 15:40

    Of course it was fixed - hello - we are not all bloody stupid !!! IDIOT !

      mbossenger - 2012-01-23 16:28


      Bob - 2012-01-23 16:45

      @mbossenger Just look at a recording of the game with an open mind !!!!!

      Julian - 2012-01-24 03:38

      The 1995 RWC FINAL was fixed to then?????

  • Christo - 2012-01-23 15:53

    You now damn well who you should listen to mr .Best referee in NZ.

  • Geoff - 2012-01-23 15:54

    Surprising that he was left out of the 6 Nations Cup. I wonder why? Geoff

  • dave.callaghan1 - 2012-01-23 15:59

    Hi Bryce. listen to those who tell you "You are crap"

  • Johan - 2012-01-23 16:10

    DEFENITELY listen to those that tell you you are "rubbish, that you are CRAP...!!!!"

  • Nick - 2012-01-23 16:19

    Bryce can stand by his integrity, just like he stands by his "pet" sheep....

  • Andre Ernstzen - 2012-01-23 16:21

    Bryce ol chap, do yourself a favour and don't ever come over here. Then again do us a favour and come on over :)

  • paul.maarman - 2012-01-23 16:27

    ...would Sport24 pls stop publishing anything related to this man....the wound were healing so nicely....- Just took out my I HATE BRYCE LAWRENCE voodoo doll again...die mutha *****!!!

  • Stephen - 2012-01-23 16:49

    Listen to this Mr. Biased Lawrence, do not speak of 'your' integrity, you do not have any integrity, if you can honestly say that you only "missed a couple of things". You must be legally blind or you just had your kiwi contact lenses in on the day, the game was riddled with your blunders. This is not the first or second time you have made massive blunders when reffing a match where a South African team has played, and always to their detriment. For the love of rugby, hang your whistle up or even better....... swallow it.

      jasongarykuhn - 2012-01-23 17:03

      would prefer if he chockes on his whistle

  • berni.venter - 2012-01-23 16:55

    How about the guy sitting with a screen in front of him that can rewind any play and give unbiased input? Pray tell, did you make use of said colleague during the match in point?

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-23 17:11

    Well thats as close to an admission of guilt as you are likely to get. The only mitigation he claims is that it was his stupidity and not his cunning that blew the match. Either way he is a dud.

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-01-24 02:55

      Paddy could have appointed a neatral referee (e.g. someone from England or France) where the outcome would have no influence on their nations prospects during the tournament but he decided to make this game controversial. This put Bryce in the position where a poor performance will put him in the position as either incompetent or a cheat. His other games during he World Cup were poor as well, so incompetence seems to be the answer. The question is how did he get to the World Cup? Nepotism?

  • Koos - 2012-01-23 17:28

    What would the result of the game have been if a fit and independent ref was on duty?

  • clivegoss - 2012-01-23 17:30

    Listen to the voices of reason "you are crap" period.

  • Dianne - 2012-01-23 18:57

    Duz u efen no hau two spel diz beeg wud braass? Integ ... int waaaaaaat?

  • Donny Doncaster - 2012-01-23 19:29

    "missed one or two things"... You think?!

  • Hennie - 2012-01-23 19:31

    Bryce, did you really "review" your "performance" with Paddy? Had a few good laughs? I'm sure Paddy richly complimented you on your "performance" and said "good on ye mate" and showed you a few of his Springbok specials...

  • gareth.hansen - 2012-01-23 20:57

    This Man should not come to ref a game in SA I predict that it won't end well!

  • Bob - 2012-01-23 21:30

    You listen to the latter,,, they got it right..

  • Hoo - 2012-01-23 23:28

    @bryce ...doesn't this mean he is lying down??..

  • Cornelius - 2012-01-23 23:42

    The issue here is not Bryce Lawrence per se, but to the IRB in general. They have failed as a governing body (not unlike Cricket South Africa and the International Cricket Council) to maintain the integrity of the sport as a whole. As supporters, we should have seen it coming years ago. Instead of trying to enforce a "workable" solution to the issues surrounding the game, they have stuck to their guns and refused to revolutionize the sport. We are in 2012, and we still have gripes with the end result of a game. That says it all. In this day and age, all victories should be without any doubt, irrefutable and clear in the minds of all spectators. Anything less is unacceptable. They should be replaced with a true professional governing body as soon as possible.

  • dan8472 - 2012-01-24 00:41

    An incompetent cheat stands by his integrity? I would love a review of his bank accounts to see if he wasn't paid off. Bribery/corruption in cricket is a known scandal, here is one to investigate in rugby.

  • dan8472 - 2012-01-24 00:43

    "I let myself down and I also let the team down..." no you didn't Brycie-boy, the Aussies did win that one, remember?

  • Julian - 2012-01-24 07:16

    Whatha??? He is a KIWI REF !!!...Not an AUSSIE REF !!! Are you muppets a little hard of reading as English is your 5th language??.. ..Why would he help us???..( we dislike him too & he hates us ) Japies... just go back to playing marbles.. sheeeesh :)

  • wayne.nkuna - 2012-01-24 07:26

    he has realy angerd a bee hive ........i hope he gets what coming for him

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-24 07:37

    Shame it is ridiculous reading the comments. The Boks were hard done on ocassions but even the Aussies could complain. Remember JP Petersen running towards O'Connor with his conversion. The biggest problem that day were the Boks using the wrong game plan, trying to run when they should have played tactically. Against their two main pool rivals they could only scored 3 tries and it was madness trying to take on the Aussies with an outfit that could not finish against good opposition. The only try in the game was as a result of Burger trying to run from just metres from his own goal line. Morne kicking for the corners instead of to the posts. No it was more their own incompetence allowing them to crash out in the quarters

      Eric - 2012-01-24 09:57

      WEll said Heinrich. It is so sad to read these hate filled comments by people that should really look at their history before making these wild and THREATENING statement so subjective. The simple fact is that the Boks only won the last World Cup by playing a type of rugby that was boring and really not in the spirit of rugby (kick kick kick)and NZ was beaten by the French with some absolute blatant ref decisions. There administration was in tatters and they were threatening their coach and captain with all sorts of punishment and even death before they even came over to NZ. Look at the results of the tri nations games etc before the cup. They just weren't up to the exciting type of rugby that was being played at the WC. The AB's set the benchmark and warning well before the cup and the Yappies would never have won the cup ... very disgraceful behaviour by the majority of these deranged commentators ... get a life yappies and get your rugby under control!!!

      Ryno - 2012-01-24 10:17

      @ Eric..So thats why there was only one try per team scored in the final. Very exciting running rugby. Running rugby does not work in WC playoffs. Proven againg in NZ. Rather stick to sheep shearing!

      Cornelius - 2012-01-24 11:12

      Saying that this was an "acceptable" outcome to the match is the same as saying Lance Armstrong deserved his First Place finishes after testing positive for doping. "Oh well, the result is final, so what if there were a few "unpleasantries" during the competition". In a play by play breakdown, there were no less than 35 inconsistent or missed calls from BL which should have favoured SA. Only 5 to AUS. Saying our "tactics" failed us, when it's one of the only games where we actually got it right, with the stats to prove it, is ludicrous. BL admitting he didn't go into the game with a "Technical" view of the match, proves only one thing, he blatently ignored proper Referree standards. What other view can one go into a match with, except bias? And to give him the "Best Referree of the year" award, well that just smacks of collusion. Nowhere has another ref got it so badly wrong, and been rewarded for it by his home nation afterwards. Absolutely ridiculous.

  • Meyer Du Plessis - 2012-01-24 08:20

    Ja ou bryce ons is vol simpatie vir jou....tyd dat piet van zyl uit retirement kom

  • Riaan - 2012-01-24 08:25

    Why not say a word about the Aussies, who said he was useless and that the Wallabies were lucky. Sydney Harold.

  • Elena - 2012-01-24 09:22

    Not only should Bryce Lawrence's integrity be questioned, we have to question Paddy O'Briens integrity as well. O'Brien was an extremely anti-bok ref with an unacceptable arrogant attitude to captains. Any sports body that appoints a reject such as Steve Walsh back into international rugby has to be questioned. The sooner we return to the appointment of officials, for major tests, from countries with no possible gain, the sooner we will generate positive opinion.

  • Kumeshen - 2012-01-24 09:40

    That 'KIWI FRUIT' should never ref again.that Ireland-Ausie game was fixed,which he refed,so the southern hemisphere was on one side & the northern on the other.Paddy o brien & the 'KIWI FRUIT' set it up perfectly for the KIWIS.

  • Len - 2012-01-24 10:04

    Listen to the one that says you are crap, especially when you admit you were crap.

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