Lawrence: I made mistakes

2011-11-17 07:32

John Bishop - The Witness

Durban - New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence has finally admitted that he made mistakes in handling the Springboks’ 9-11 quarter-final loss to the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks, their coaching staff, supporters and many neutral observers were critical of Lawrence’s refereeing, his inability to control the breakdown and reluctance to make action against a string of infringements during the controversial defeat.

“I was disappointed with some aspects in my own performance that day after refereeing four really pretty strong games in pool play,” Lawrence said on Wednesday, admitting the role he played in the game has been on his mind every day.

“I’m not blaming anyone for the quarter-final refereeing display apart from myself. I didn’t referee as well as I could.”

The New Zealand referee has been named as one of the Merit Panel referees for the Super Rugby, but he said he had been punished for his poor performance in the Wellington quarter-final.

“Look, there have been some pretty clear consequences from my quarter-final display,” he said. “I’m not going to be refereeing Six Nations next year.

“They can say that means I’m being rested, but in reality I accept that one of the consequences of my performance is that I’m not going to be doing Six Nations.”

Lawrence then contradicted himself, saying that his handling of the Wellington play-off had been praised by more knowledgeable critics.

“My quarter-final performance created a lot of negative reaction in South Africa, pretty hostile, very personal, very harsh,” he said.

“But on the flipside of that, I got a lot of really strong positive support from rugby people in New Zealand and around the world who probably know me a little bit more than the people in South Africa and were feeling for me during that time.”

Lawrence has received threats from rabid South African supporters and added that he will not officiate in South Africa if he fears for his safety. A petition started in South Africa to stop Lawrence refereeing again prompted a massive response.

“I’m not totally concerned [about the threats]” Lawrence told Radio Sport yesterday. “But I know a lot of other people like the New Zealand Rugby Union and Sanzar do have some serious concerns.

“In all honesty, I’m not going to go over there if there’s any personal threat or I have concerns about my safety because in the end it’s a job, I know that, and also it’s just a sport so I’m not going to put myself at risk.”

The Witness

  • Facts - 2011-11-17 07:47

    Mistake! You cost us the world cup and ensured New Zealand won it. As said yesterday, money in the bank and mission accomplished. Still reckon this world cup must be investigated for match fixing.

      Robert - 2011-11-17 07:53

      Exactly. It was orchestrated and went exactly according to the NZRU plans. Bryce was on the payroll with under the table payments. He made damn sure that the All Blacks didn't have to face the Springboks in that semi-final. STAY AT HOME BRYCE. YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE!

      Fred - 2011-11-17 08:04

      There were no mistakes. He was just totally biased against South Africa. He is a crook and a thief, and should be fired for his dishonesty.

      therealunskinny - 2011-11-17 08:11

      @hugh: Methinks it is you who has poo for brains. With a biased breakdown no tactics are going to save the wronged team. Do you think Lawrence wouldn't have stepped up his outright unfair refereeing had SA been in the lead?

      SeeVeeDeeEl - 2011-11-17 08:32

      This whole RWC was a set-up right from the start. Maybe in 10 years time someone with balls will write a book and the IRU and the NZRU will be named and shamed. Kiwis are the biggest cheats the world has ever seen.

      Michael - 2011-11-17 08:33

      @Hugh, The Boks are a world cup team, we may have rubbish trinations here and there, but when it comes to WC, we have the most superior style. Awesome defense, get into the oppositions half, kick the points. Its just hard playing against the ref!

      Loodpil - 2011-11-17 08:46

      Yes Hugh, South Africa had more than enough opportunities to score, but in something as tight as a QF RWC match, those opportunities gets killed when a ref deliberately becomes impartial at the breakdown point. It was quite ingenious from Lawrence really: be impartial both ways knowing that it will screw the team with the most posession (South Africa in this case). How difficult is it to understand ?

      Andrew - 2011-11-17 08:46

      I agree that the match was fixed. in a normal match between SA and Aus it would be close anyway so 1 or 2 bad decisions could change the result and hardly be noticed. In this game SA were so dominant that it needed numerous bad decisions to effect the result and as such stood out.

      Hot - 2011-11-17 08:58

      HAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!!! Lekker huil boys !!!! Lekker huil !!!! Net bietjie minder as 4jaar oor !!! Enjoy !!!

      Gareth - 2011-11-17 09:14

      ^%#& Bryce Lawrence...

      Helen - 2011-11-17 10:23

      Facts it galls me to see MaCaw kiss the trophy they won by cheating,Bryce WAS paid to ensure the AB play the weaker team assuring New Zealand the win what a bunch of losers what a bunch of cheats.Bryce thank your lucky stars it was not a soccer match you were refereeing,I doubt very much you would be here today to say you made mistakes.The only mistake was you.

      Vusi - 2011-11-17 10:26

      Pass me my Zulu Spear please!!!! This article has me fuming all over again!

      John - 2011-11-17 10:58

      Don't get me wrong - I think the handling of our 1/4 final was disgusting....however, I just wish South Africans would throw as much passion and energy into sorting out our country. Our country is burning, our people are dying, our children have no certain future here, our economy could dive at any moment, we have tyrants running our country, mass theft and corruption. We have our priorities all wrong. We need a strong leader that has the backbone to take on the corrupt politicians

      Francois - 2011-11-17 13:04

      Pretty clear consequences from my quarter-final display, I am not going to blow six nations? We were not playing the NZ!. My guess is that your payback was more that you lost from not blowing the 6 nations. Clear conseqeunce my backside. Spill the beans - what were these so called mistakes? If you were paid to fix the match, come clean.

      Spyker - 2011-11-17 13:38

      No doubt SA was robbed and the match was probably 'fixed'.., BUT SA were 'lambs to the slaughter' - had we a decent coach (in fact just a coach per se) for at least two years prior to the WC, we would have had the team and the game-plan to sink that Aussie team convincingly. In any event - had we not lost to the Aussies, we would surely have surely have lost the following week - what did you expect from a team who was captained by the slowest, fattest, geriatric on the park, closely followed by a majority of players who did not look much better, not to mention those players who were so old-and-broken they did not even reach play-offs, a team that ended up stone-cold last in the preceding Tri-Nations..?

      Zion - 2011-11-17 15:54

      Fred If you wantto make statements implying that Bryce Lawrence is a thief and a crook then the onud rests upon you to prove that. I challenge you.

      Kesivan - 2011-11-17 23:50

      I cannot take PROFESSIONAL rugby seriously again as the implementation of the rules are UNPROFESSIONAL. To me it seams like IRB is turning Rugby into WWF. They insult South Africans by protecting Bryce and Paddy. They change the Laws to promote more attacking rugby and more tries or to suite the All Blacks? We as South African rugby fans need to continue to make a noise otherwise the game we love is going to the dogs. It is 2012 almost and IRB is still using backward technology to corrupt the game in their favor. There are options out there that will make the game almost full proof. I am afraid by not making an example of Bryce other refs will see this as an ok to make a little money on the side. How are you supposed to let young people be inspired to play any form of the game being a running game or kicking game if the game is unfair!!!! IRB is responsible for the hypocritical state the game is being managed and all this Bryce crap is doing is making South African Rugby supporters more angry. So what do we do? Move on ? move on to more inconsistencies. Wow that sounds like progress!!! Don't let the IRB con you all into thinking there is no way of making a full proof game, they are lying. We need to pressure SARU and SARU needs to pressure the IRB. Remember we have some of the largest viewership of rugby in the world if we petition to boycott the NZ and OZ games IRB will be forced to make the correct technological changes. WITHOUT JUSTICE THERE CANNOT BE PEACE

      Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2011-11-19 07:06

      I'm totally disgusted in the fans, with their hate and threats of violence. It's not only made a distasteful world cup, but made me bitter toward South Africa more than anything else. While South Africa blames all their problems on the ref, the world is pointing fingers at South Africa and now with countless articles coming out on the poor nature of Rugby fans, I'm embarrassed to say I'm from SA. How can South Africa ever hope to be free from violence and crime when they act like this? It seems South Africa doesn’t want to be, it almost seems as if they enjoy violence and anger. Not a friendly nation at all and I’m starting to agree with the reports on “the hostile nation”. I'm almost at the point that I hope we lose the next world cup.

  • vaughn.l.jacobs - 2011-11-17 07:47

    First mistake you made Bryce; was to think you can be a rugby ref....., but thats prob your Daddys fault

      adrian.strydom - 2011-11-17 09:29

      @David...that ref was Paul Honis....get your facts straight

      Robert - 2011-11-17 09:35

      Yes Dave, and the game was actually played in Ireland. Having said that, NZ refs seem to have it in for the Boks.

  • pasca.motaung - 2011-11-17 07:49


  • Robert - 2011-11-17 07:49

    Please Brycey, just give us your date of arrival and flight number and all 50 million of us will ensure you receive the appropriate SA welcome !!! Tosser!

      Phillip - 2011-11-17 08:22

      Will be there!

      Roland - 2011-11-17 09:56

      Think it'll be like a Puke Watson moment...

  • markvdm - 2011-11-17 07:49

    Stay at home boet.....Just saying

  • OSSY24 - 2011-11-17 07:50

    pappa wag beaaaaaaaaatch

  • VerquelineBotha - 2011-11-17 07:53

    ....are u kidding me??? Tell us what did they freaking pay you???? My quarter-final performance created a lot of negative reaction in South Africa, pretty hostile, very personal, very harsh,” he said. “But on the flipside of that, I got a lot of really strong positive support from rugby people in New Zealand and around the world who probably know me a little bit more than the people in South Africa and were feeling for me during that time.”

  • Koos - 2011-11-17 07:55

    “But on the flipside of that, I got a lot of really strong positive support from rugby people in New Zealand and around the world who probably know me a little bit more than the people in South Africa and were feeling for me during that time.” Sorry mate - knowing you a little bit more doesn't help a touch. Thank you for admitting - that makes it better but not right. The result was not a reflection of the game. Do you think we will be able to forgive you?? It might take time. Think you should rather resign.

  • Gungets - 2011-11-17 07:56

    FFS!! - Move on everybody. I have seen the score in every newspaper that reports on rugby. New Zealand are the RWC Champs. Does acting like a bunch of low IQ yokels change anything. If the IRB have not yet noticed that the man is unfit, slow and incompetent then nothing we say here is going to change that. --> Personally, I believe it is a reflection on me that someone as undeserving as Bryce Lawrence gets so much attention. Let's just move the hell on.

      Burtfred - 2011-11-17 08:05

      New Zealand currently have the William Webb-Ellis trophy, but that does'nt make them the world champions. Their win in the tournament was assisted and is tainted by the poor reffing on the way to the final.

      therealunskinny - 2011-11-17 08:17

      @gungets: Clearly the majority of SA fans haven't moved on. Kudos to them for not rolling over and taking it up the exit. Until action is taken that fits the crime, why should we move on?!

      Theprodigy - 2011-11-17 10:10

      how do you propose we move on when the problem hasn't been fixed, its like putting a band aid on a gaping wound. Do you for 1 second think that this idiot will be fair to the Boks next time he officiates them, do you for one second believe that the NZRB & the IRB will not continue with their blatant bias, well I have news for you pal.

      Peter - 2011-11-17 12:25

      Gungets Agree with you, and I had moved on. Now this article has pissed me off all over again. Agrre with Vusi too, I am gonna borrow Vusi's spear.

      Kesivan - 2011-11-17 23:10


  • Burtfred - 2011-11-17 07:56

    The only mistake you made when reffing the SA/Aus game was that you intentionally chose to assist Pocock to do as he pleased and for Australia to win. You cannot possibly be so inept and so blind - your lack of action had to be intentional. I hope your ref career is over.

      Jimmy - 2011-11-18 07:45

      But it's ok when he's assisting Brussouw isn't it?

  • J.D. - 2011-11-17 07:56

    The series of "mistakes" he made was intentional and on purpose to benefit Australia over SA in the hope that Australia wins and that NZ have a better chance of winning the WC. Lawrence displayed a lack of integrity at the top level. Sorry he will have to live with that until he come clean and admit publically what his real intentions was in handling that game and vow to never officiate at top level again. Maybe then people will forgive him.

  • Bokfan - 2011-11-17 08:02

    Prycey Brycey The best ref money can buy Finally a clear admission that the smallblacks found a "political solution" to their cup drought. If they'd played any other team but the lacklustre French it was curtains for them.

  • Theprodigy - 2011-11-17 08:08

    NO KIDDING!!!!

  • juan.brasler - 2011-11-17 08:10

    a bit to late ashole

  • Jeff - 2011-11-17 08:14

    Everybody makes mistakes. South Africans are bad losers. The rugby proteas did not deserve to win. Period.

      Koos - 2011-11-17 09:01

      ja jeff.... bet that sax is not the only thing your blowing!

      Ron - 2011-11-17 09:50

      Stick to your own news, not ours....A@rsH__e

      Paul - 2011-11-17 10:38


      Moi - 2011-11-17 11:10

      Seeing as there is no such team in rugby called the proteas, I'd have to agree with you.

      Peter - 2011-11-17 12:26

      @Jeff Afrikaans BOX.

  • chiepner - 2011-11-17 08:16

    There is a major dif between cheating and making mistakes!

  • Johan - 2011-11-17 08:22

    mmm Reposting articles are we ??!!

  • Tony - 2011-11-17 08:36

    Lawrence: if you really want to know about MISTAKES you should ask your parents!

  • Dianne - 2011-11-17 08:42

    I think his admittance of lousy decisions during that match has vindicated SA fans and their vitriolic feelings about Mr Lawrence. I would actually feel sorry for him if he had the gall to ref an SA game ever again! They would have to fence in the entire crowd area like they do for soccer matches to prevent him from being annihilated ha ha!

  • Colin - 2011-11-17 08:50

    It started with the final pool match against Samoa! Managed to injure Frans Steyn and almost killed Hougaard, but that wasn't enough. So, step up to the plate Mr.Lawrence!!!! And the rest is history!!!!...

  • Koos - 2011-11-17 08:59

    lawrence..... bang gat!!!! piet van zyl wag net vir jou!!!wwhhaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Leonard - 2011-11-17 09:00

    Blob of Chicken Poop!

  • Wesley - 2011-11-17 09:10

    You only got away lightly, not to mentioned you are to be honoured for your so called mistake.....with an award....To be honest you should be investigated for your "MISTAKE", after a preformance of this nature you should be ashamed so much so that you should hang up your whistle and call it a day. I feel i speek for all when i say you are a horrible ref and a bad role model and further more stay home you are not not welcome here in South Africa.

  • clivegoss - 2011-11-17 09:11

    Ag siestog shame arme ou ! ! Ek kry hom so jammer ek voel sommer lus en sny my polse ! ! Box BOX end of story. He must retire . I know 3rd leque refs in Pta and Cpt that if they were faster and fitter could P--S on Bryce's performance in the sitting position ! ! Bryce please leave rugby. Pretty please ?

  • Jan - 2011-11-17 09:14

    Just when he seemed on the path to forgiveness by admitting to his mistakes, he insults South Africans as not knowing enough about rugby to judge him. After all, New Zelanders thought he had a great game! I wonder why that is Mr. Lawrence....

  • Jerhone - 2011-11-17 09:17

    no matter how much you admit you stuffed up you have banned yourself from ever coming to SA. I think your referee days are over mate, enjoy your 30 pieces of silver

  • cliff.slabbert - 2011-11-17 09:32

    You are a cheat - full stop!

  • bplupiya - 2011-11-17 09:40

    yeah....the new zealan probably paid you to screw us us didnt they? youre their national hero...thats why they even nominated you for the official of the year honours. scew you....

  • William - 2011-11-17 09:53

    Before we go further, of all the rugby sides in the world that have been on the bad end of fixed refs, its the Kiwis. Oh how short those Kiwi memories are. 1995 RWC France beat us in the semis as the try was scored. Watch the replay. So we South Africans have short memories too. Aussies were done in by Bryce against Ireland and the threats on the Aussie blogs was bad. Aussies have short memories too. This is not the first time Bryce has cheated against a South African side. Besides tri-nations he made up calls against the Sharks. Remember Dangerous play before he the scrum engaged. As soon as you idiots realise RWC, S15 and tr-nations rugby is fixed the better. Rugby is more corrupt than cricket, which by the way more players have been caught again.

  • george.sharp2 - 2011-11-17 09:53

    you are corrupt and you must suffer the consequences, do not come to the RSA

  • Leon - 2011-11-17 09:54

    just stay in nz boet because piet van zyl is out there he wil get you

  • Jerhone - 2011-11-17 09:58

    the ALL BEKS could never have lived with themselves because they had only won the world cup once without SA. participating, if SA. had won the world cup for the third time they would had to eat humble pie, therefore in stepped pricey brycey defender of ALL BEK rugby, most honourable cheat this side of the Tasman sea soon to be knighted by the queen, hope the sword slips

  • Sally - 2011-11-17 10:15

    Is that supposed to make us feel better?....To err is human, to forgive, divine....sorry, not feeling very divine!

  • Johan - 2011-11-17 10:16

    If you set foot in SA Bryce Lawrence there will be charges of MATCHFIXING. That is 100% sure. It can be done and it will be done. You have as much as admitted it, but your daddy and the IRB are too spunkless to do anything about you and other refs who stuffs games. It has to stop so we spectators all over the WORLD can start enjoying football again and the best place to start is with you Mr Cheat. Come to SA and see how real it will be.

  • shene.gurling - 2011-11-17 10:16

    The biggest UNDERSTATEMENT of the year!!!

  • shene.gurling - 2011-11-17 10:21

    A nation is hurting...STILL...and you admit NOW that you've made a mistake. Do you feel better Bryce? because i dont, all the Springbok fans dont and im sure the men in the green and gold we so proudly support dont either...and just so btw...admitting you made mistakes is not an apology, say it like it cost us BIG TIME!!!

  • Theresa - 2011-11-17 10:23

    Oh,build a bridge and get over it!!!!

  • Angela - 2011-11-17 10:30

    No Lawrence, a mistake is when you do something unintentionally. Anyone in their right mind saw who saw the game will admit your actions were deliberate!

  • murrayboyce - 2011-11-17 10:40

    @Vusi I'll be right beside you with my Assegai and Umbumbuluzo.

  • wilma.botts - 2011-11-17 10:42

    Well im sure we don't want him here job or not the woes

  • Reinard - 2011-11-17 10:45

    Agg shame...!! We lose out on a World Cup and he misses a yearly tournement! Real fair! Please dont be silly mr Lawrence you very safe here and welcome in SA. To show what I mean come and stay with me when you visit you will be safe! *promise*

  • pam.benink - 2011-11-17 10:51

    What a wanker!

  • Benneton - 2011-11-17 10:57

    You made juvenile mistakes that a test referee of your stature shouldnt, not repeatedly. The tell-tale signs of your incompetance were for all to see in the Super 15, yet you went on to ref playoff games and at the RWC! So Paddy, as the head of the IRB referee board is as much to blame as you are. Both New Zealanders, both morons. Yes, it is just a sport, its just a job. But its what pays your bills and its what you are judged on. For that you have failed miserably. Then as you have not quit, and if you are selected 'on merit' to ref Super Rugby 2012, you cant then expect to only ref in your preferred territories. -Or can you now??

  • Te - 2011-11-17 10:57

    As if your crap team was ever gonna beat the ABs in the next game. Get over it losers.

      Moi - 2011-11-17 11:24

      Yes, beacuse the ab's had such a sterling performance in the final, almost losing to the french.

      Te - 2011-11-17 12:25

      that french team would have beat any team with that performance, ACCEPT THE ALL BLACKS

      Angela - 2011-11-17 16:48

      Shame looking for comfort are we, must be a very hollow victory seen as you never had the chance to prove yourselves against the most on-form team of the competition. I'm sure Richie and the boys must feel quite shallow.

  • Sunett - 2011-11-17 11:00

    Ja, I'd fear for my safety also if I were you... rather stay away from us for a while.... ;)

  • Andries - 2011-11-17 11:01

    Be afraid you, be very afraid you f*%k!

  • Bart - 2011-11-17 11:06

    You Sir, are crap, i hope the next time you blow a whistle, it gets stuck in your throat!!!

  • Tammy - 2011-11-17 11:11

    As soon as Zuma finds his machine gun, I will shoot you myself!

  • The-third - 2011-11-17 11:12

    Geez. Let's get over it already. it's done. dusted. kaput. The horse is dead. The fat lady has sung. Elvis has left the building.

  • JackPor - 2011-11-17 11:15

    Another perspective to the Bryce Lawrence drama: The same thing happened 4 years ago to the All Blacks with Referee Wayne Barnes, who had a SHOCKING performance and boy we lambasted him!!! BUT in all honesty (as a passionate All Blacks supporter) the reality of the situation is, the All Blacks just weren't good enough in that Quarter Final against France in 2007! When is the rugby public in South Africa going to realise that the brand of rugby you played in that Quarter Final against Australia (despite how bad Bryce Lawrence may have been) just wasn't good enough and maybe that was the primary cause of you not making it through to the Semis. Why did it take the boks SO LONG to play their (highly successful) traditional brand of 'brutal forward play', 'up and unders' and 'drop goal' rugby in that match??? It served you so well in the past!! You had PLENTY of opportunities to kill off the game, just like the All Blacks did in 2007!!! The All Blacks won this years World Cup because they learned from past mistakes and started playing winning matter how unattractive it may have been and boy that Final was boring...but who cares...they won and are World Champions! I sympathise with the boks and their New Zealanders, we know exactly what you're going through, even though we're bathing in the glory of the present. Find solace in the fact that, come 2015, we'll have it all to play for once again.......

      Johan - 2011-11-17 11:33

      Hey JackPor. Get some brains. In 2007 one movement/one forward pass was missed/overlooked/cheated (call it what you like). In 2011 Bryce Lawrence not overlooked but ignored plenty insidents (and ignored John Smits complaints!), turned two passes into forward passes and gave Pocock (in his own admission!) a field day. Lets compare apples with apples Kiwi. I hope in 2015 your Bryci will still be in jail mate. Can you tell me exactly what Danie Rossouw did wrong according to the Lawbook of Rugby Union towards the end in that line out? Matchfixing = any individual influencing the outcome of a sports game. We will serve it on him on his arrival at a SA port on behalf of ALL rugby supporters world wide and on your behalf too JackPor. Full stop.