RWC ref shock for SA

2011-04-08 07:30

J.J. Harmse

Pretoria - A few shocks await rugby fans, players and coaches when the International Rugby Board (IRB) announces its referees for the Rugby World Cup.

Some bad news awaits at least two local referees, Mark Lawrence and Marius Jonker. It is believed that they were overlooked to officiate in the tournament that takes place in New Zealand in September and October.

Sport24 learned that these two talented South African referees will not be among the 10 names that are announced as World Cup referees.

They are also not among the seven assistant referees.

It should definitely be seen as a slap in the face for both as neither of them has put a foot wrong at international level and are still on the IRB’s elite panel.

It is shocking that Jonker (22 Tests) and Lawrence (25 Tests) are not even being considered as assistant referees.

It may well prompt Lawrence, who was controversially omitted from the 2007 tournament, and Jonker, who had an excellent tournament in France, to reconsider their careers as international referees. Both have established business interests outside rugby and could easily call an end to their international refereeing commitments.

It has been reported in the New Zealand Herald that the Northern Hemisphere will have the most referees at the tournament.

Wayne Barnes and Dave Pearson (England), Romain Poite (France), Nigel Owens (Wales), Alain Rolland and George Clancy (Ireland), Steve Walsh (Australia), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand) and Craig Joubert and Jonathan Kaplan (both SA) are believed to be on the list, with Jerome Garces (France), Chris Pollock and Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Simon McDowell (Ireland), Stuart Terheege (England), Tim Hayes (Wales) and Carlo Damasco (Italy) set to be touch judges.

Cobus Wessels and Christie du Preez, who are assistant referees on the IRB panel, have also been overlooked.

How Walsh could make the list ahead of Stuart Dickinson (51 Tests) and the two South Africans is a mystery. He was sacked as a referee by New Zealand because of bad behaviour.

Shaun Veldsman has at least made it as one of four television match officials.

South African referees manager André Watson was reluctant to comment about the appointments as they had not yet officially been announced.


  • Wilhelm - 2011-04-08 07:42

    This is a joke...

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-08 08:19

      ...sour grapes, ..watalife..?? .........He he he he he ..!!!

      Legend77 - 2011-04-08 08:24

      @watalife. It is funny, I am also glad to see them not being chosen, but for slightly a different reason. They are both incosistent but also both are anti bull. So please wake up and get a life.

      Airborne68 - 2011-04-08 08:46

      Legend, Marius is a BB supporter of note!

      Mark - 2011-04-08 08:53

      He even speaks with a BB accent!

      ArtGee - 2011-04-08 08:54

      Yep... a Joke it is!

      ArtGee - 2011-04-08 08:55

      watalife... when your team plays k@k... BLAME IT ON THE REF!!!!! Get a life Bru!

      WeZo - 2011-04-08 09:16

      we already have 2!! not a joke, pretty fair actually! PS: Bulls and Stormers okes shutup please! "uh we have trophies!!"...."uh ya but we have 6 out of 6 wins!" Boring!!!! STORMERS 4EVA! ha

      Marx - 2011-04-08 09:27

      Watalife...dishing dirt again....thought the elite of SA rugby didn't blame the ref, hehe, if the article is true, well, we all know what happened in the Tri Nations last year.... - 2011-04-08 09:44

      Hey Mr Harmse. Steve Walsh is a goat shaggger not a sheep shaggger. Not to day you will get something right.

      JR - 2011-04-08 11:52

      Wat de $#%@#4 het die Refs in die WC met die BB uit te waai!? Dit mag dalk nuus wees maar die BB speel nie in die WC nie. Smaak my jou kop is so plat soos die berg in die kaap.

      conoseur - 2011-04-08 13:41

      Why dont all you dumb idiots wait for the official list before shooting your mouths off. Or is it because most of you are all dumb Bull,Sharks or Lions supporters.

  • Met Uysh! - 2011-04-08 07:56

    Of course, its all part of the bigger plan to ensure New Zealand wins the world cup.

      Willem Myburgh De Beer - 2011-04-08 08:04

      100% correct. And very obvious!

      Lucky Strike - 2011-04-08 08:14

      My thoughts exactly. Steve Walsh - I ask you with tears in my eyes. After Twickenham last Sunday!!!

      Player69 - 2011-04-08 08:38

      Conspiracy!! We're on to their skullduggery I tell you!!

      Fred - 2011-04-08 09:52

      How can it be obvious, NZ has one ref and 2 linesman, SA has 2 refs, France and Italy 1 a piece, the scots have 0, you have a limited number of spots to be filled whatever way you look at it the list seems quite fair. Are we looking for excuses why we're going to be lose before the tournaments even started, some of us whinge worse than the Aussies or Brits.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-04-08 10:04

      @Fred Nonsense We have 4 out of the 20 on the panel and our Refs are the best of the lot. They deserve to be there on merit. This is not some BBBEE enterprise where everyone must have a chance, the Refs must be selected on merit and obviously here are some other powers at play if 11 of the top 17 refs are from the NH, who, by the way, controls the IRB.They won't be so stupid as to let New Zealand Ref's commit the bias acts, would they? Use the "independant" NH refs like they did last year in the 3N.

      Raymond - 2011-04-09 21:19

      New Zealand WILL win the RWC without the help of referees.

  • Skubbe - 2011-04-08 08:04

    Pity about Lawrence. But now if only the Super15, Curriecup and Vodacom Cup can follow suit with Jonker Plonker!

  • colin - 2011-04-08 08:05

    Wanye Barnes - not good enough.

  • CapeTownJunk - 2011-04-08 08:09

    Surely this is not really all that controversial? If there are only seventeen spots available for referees and assistant referees, then only a maximum of three of those 17 should come from one particular country? And the northern hemisphere will also have the most referees at the World Cup? 60% of the referees (6 out of 10) are from the northern hemisphere. Coincidentally, 12 out of 20 teams competing at the World Cup (60%) are from the northern hemisphere. Where's the author's outrage at this blatant borealocentric discrimination??? Besides, maybe South African rugby still wants some decent referees available for the Currie Cup?

      Met Uysh! - 2011-04-08 08:16

      It doesn't mean that because most of the teams come from the NH they should have the most referees. The selection of referees are supposed to be on a merit basis, not on a freebie basis. If they want us to believe that neither Lawrence nor Jonker are under the top 17 referees in the world, they must really think we are gullable. Do you think it is right to have Top, World Class referees officiating silly Currie Cup matches or World Cup international matches? I know what I would prefer as a referee.

      Robschele - 2011-04-08 13:28

      They need the plonker here to look after BB interests in local games.

      Gilgamesh - 2011-04-08 15:35

      "Borealocentric discrimination!" Excellent!

  • PDP - 2011-04-08 08:20

    I just have a concern with all the European refs, they slow the game down to much. They see the game completely different from the Southern hemisphere refs.

  • DUANEROCKS - 2011-04-08 08:21

    It is the Bulls fault that Jonker has been ditched.......

      Tartan - 2011-04-08 08:46

      That is sooo true, it's the Bulls' fault that Japan had a massive earthquake and tsunami, the 911 terror attack, oh and dont forget the Proteas not making the semis at the CWC! Frikken bulls!!!!! Duanerocks u are soo dumb you make Malema look intelligent.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-08 08:56

      ....and its the Bulls fault that the Stormers havent won any Cups since 2001... ...Go Bulls..!! ...Go Reds..!!!

      Gilgamesh - 2011-04-08 15:37

      Tartan, that Malema comment was uncalled for. But f%$ken funny!

      Deon - 2011-04-09 13:59

      No, its apartheid's fault.

  • Klaas - 2011-04-08 08:21

    they shouldn't have any referees at all, they are all useless and ruin the game.

      saliem - 2011-04-08 08:46

      Pffffffffffffft :P

      WeZo - 2011-04-08 08:47

      agreed. just 30 guys battling it out to see who gets to touchdown over opponents try line!!! no rules!!!!

      Met Uysh! - 2011-04-08 09:14

      Now that would be incredible to watch!

  • JACKHAMMER - 2011-04-08 08:22

    Marius Jonker,Jy kan seker jou pos by Bell Equipment as n security gaurd in Richards baai terug kry

      JACKHAMMER - 2011-04-08 12:02

      Marius is n BB ondersteuner,en ja ek ken hom persoonlik as n baie groot windgat van sy polisiedae af

  • BeigeZebra - 2011-04-08 08:35

    Really, so we expect 4 SA referees on the 10 man panel? Because all the other countries would accept that. But how Walsh makes it is beyond me.

      devils_advo - 2011-04-08 21:38

      Is it our fault that our ref's are the best in the world. Why be punished for that?? Think before you speak chop stick...

  • storm_saam - 2011-04-08 08:38

    what the hell is steve walsh doing there?

      Jay - 2011-04-08 11:21

      my feelings completely! he is a joke. i mentioned elsewhere, he winks at his favourite teams while he punishes their opposition. How unprofessional?! What about all the bad calls and judgements he's made, costing teams time and thousands and thousands of Rands in revenue lost spent on touring to only face an ufair ref.

  • ThePranksta - 2011-04-08 08:39

    Joubert and Kaplan the best SA refs, don't see any country so far with more than two refs. The choice has to be a split between merit and a spread over countries since a ref can not be from the same country as any of the two countries playing. Hope that Walsh doesn't blow a SA game, he shouldn't have been included as anything more than a touch/tv/toilet ref.

  • saliem - 2011-04-08 08:39

    Kaplan and Joubert deserve to be there. How many SA refs did you want there Mr Harmse? I must say that Steve Walsh is VERY lucky to be there, given his inconsistency.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-04-08 08:48

      Both have been very inconsistent of late!

  • storm_saam - 2011-04-08 08:46

    what the hell is steve walsh doing there? he is a way worse ref than lawrence!

  • Mark - 2011-04-08 08:52

    Think England are trying to make things easy for themselves?

      Sam - 2011-04-08 15:27

      @Jay.... I feel it bro, remember YOUR ref's during OUR games boet (probably before your time), remember when one of your beloved fans punched the ref (probably before your time), it's not a conspiracy and it never was, on averages NZ gets more yellow cards...... As for Bakkies, SBW will give him an upper cut red. Still here and waiting, and yes, you have 2 world cups, I need a tissue, leave me alone........ (Sam dries his eyes...... BASTARDS!!!) KIA KAHA

  • Sam - 2011-04-08 08:54

    Moan moan moan, justice for the ref arm bands are now selling at As for Stevo Walsh, cheers rounds on me As for Paddy, Guiness is good for you, boys from the black stuff. Apparently Suzies making lunch, dig in boys, seconds most welcome CONSPIRACY??????? Excuses already????? Wow, I never thought South Africans would use excuses (tongue in Butt cheek)

      JACKHAMMER - 2011-04-08 09:12

      Hey Sam ,somewhere in your Anthem are the words"GOD defend New Zealand",,,Why do youre centres need help?,just asking

      Met Uysh! - 2011-04-08 09:15

      Whats your tongue doing in Wayne's Butt cheek?

      Jay - 2011-04-08 11:25

      there are great refs on that panel, 2 being from SA as well. Unfortunately, based on Steven Walsh's performance, he cannot count himself worthy of a world cup this time round and yet he is there. he has cost many a team thousands in wasted tour money just to face his blunders. Hope he refs his favourite team against your favourite team so you can "feel it" too. (PS he loves the Aussies and it shows)

  • Charnè Anderson - 2011-04-08 08:55

    This article sounds awefully biased...

      Pierre - 2011-04-08 23:39

      It's written by JJ harmse. How more biased do you want it???

  • Lennox - 2011-04-08 08:57

    Lawrence, the optician, should test the panels eyes and prescribe specs if they overlook him for Steve Walsh. If you did a survey amongst the players he would be in the top five. Did you guys hear that Lawrence's daughter went for a champaigne breakfast the other day, had two glasses and made a "spectacle" of herself!!!!!!!

  • naknud - 2011-04-08 08:59

    Northern hemisphere ref bias?? Shouldn't the RWC have a balance between the hemispheres?

  • Counsellor - 2011-04-08 09:20

    I don't see the is obviously a mix of international ref' can SA expect to have four ref's while, say, France and Aus have one (none if Walsh doesn't get included)...please...let us Saffas not be arrogant here!

      Fred - 2011-04-08 10:06

      It's a conspiracy against Argentina and Scotland, it must be because they have no refs or linesman.

  • Zion - 2011-04-08 09:51

    In 1996 Mark Lawrence made my first pair of spectacles, Pity he did not make a pair for himself too.

  • Dan - 2011-04-08 09:56

    Eish. The All Black and IRB just want ekstra insurance to help the All Blacks win the RWC.

  • Chris Nagel - 2011-04-08 10:02

    I agree watalife . Let them stay at ploftus persveld

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-08 10:21

      ...let them rather stay in Pink City Skaapstad....

      watalife - 2011-04-08 10:49

      @ Chris, First time i have noticed your name on forums? Dont take anything to heart what JohnnyBalBrein,Marx,JACKASS,Donkey and the rest of the Komin bulls supporters have to say.They all live in denial and cant handle the fact that they hold the Plonker Team Award for the lose against Mighty Stormers.

  • molefeP - 2011-04-08 10:40

    I don't think that either of them are that good. not suprised that they are being left out. Very inconsistant the both of them.

  • Cire - 2011-04-08 10:48

    It's just so UNFAIR! Everyone is just trying to CHEAT us! Everyone HATES us for nothing! We should take our balls and go home to MOMMY. I'm just so CROSS, I could stamp my little feet. Boks fans can sit in the corner and never speak to ANYBODY. Its all a CONSPIRACY. I'm sure George Bush is behind this, along with the oil companies, the Vatican and the CIA. Its just so UNFAIR! Boo hoo, snot en trane in the land!

  • thumper - 2011-04-08 10:59

    Wayne Barnes and Craig Joubert??? Now there are two refs who can kill a good game of rugby an day of the week!

  • Jay - 2011-04-08 11:18

    what....? Steve Walsh is one of the most problematic refs, winking at one team while he punishes another and yet his name is on there! Our clean cut guys should not have been left off. far too controversial!

  • Nebs - 2011-04-08 11:49

    at least Dickinson isn't there

  • Tired - 2011-04-08 11:55

    My prayers has been heard if Stuart Dickinson are not a referee.!!!! The only time he is good to us is when he is not blowing the match.

  • Louis - 2011-04-08 12:31

    how walsh made it ahead of me is a mystery...o ye i forgot to send my picture with my application...he never takes control of a then always ends in fighting...when he pathetically try to stop by making poor of the poorest refs i had the misfortune to behold

      JACKHAMMER - 2011-04-08 12:47

      my donner ,jy sal probleme kry om Schalk Burger se foto te gebruik

      Howzitekse - 2011-04-08 18:13

      Lyk meer na ou Victor wat vir die bulle senter speel.

  • Joefd1 - 2011-04-08 12:56

    its not so much a case of Mark Lawrence and Marius Jonker being left out it is more relevant that they have left out in favour of Jonathan Kaplan. He gave one of the worst refereeing displays I have ever seen in the pre season Stormers friendly,I was surprised there was no outcry. I was not however surprised when he was asked to 'take a break' by the powers that be a few weeks later.I have watched him since then and he is just not getting it right.He may well get back on his game but Jonker and Lawrence are,and have been all season, streets ahead. ... Joefd1

  • Joefd1 - 2011-04-08 13:06

    Its not that they have been overlooked but more importantly that they have not been chosen ahead of Jonathan Kaplan who gave the worst refereeing performance I have seen in a long time in The stormers opening friendly, and then after that had more bad games.I was not surprised when the powers that be a few weeks asked him to 'take a break'.He did, but is still up to scratch.He is still missing a lot and making bad a top player he maybe needs to play/ref in less pressured games for awhile.the world cup will tell, I hope for his sake not to dramatically

  • RobinHood - 2011-04-08 13:08

    Discrimination!!!! Why is Pro Legoete not on the panel - this is a racist plot again

  • Lawrence - 2011-04-08 14:20

    what only 2 out of 10 - were they expecting 4/10 referees from SA - poor journalism in my opinion.

  • chrismtb007 - 2011-04-08 15:02

    all in order to make it easier for the kiwis, rules change to make it easier for them, the refs just look the other way when they play dirty, and when they get sighted, nothing happens, or at least a very small sentence.... But lets not worry, its been going on for years now, we dont need to worry, the Kiwis will choke again!!

      Kleinboet - 2011-04-10 00:07

      Haai Broer, a player gets 'cited' not 'sighted'! Ons Arikaanses het ons eie taal reeds onherroeplik opgefok, so kom ons gebruik die rooitaal korrek sodat ons mekaar darem kan verstaan as ons kommunikeer!

  • Irelander - 2011-04-08 16:09

    Seems fair enough. Ireland though probably has 1 to many.

  • DAMAINMAN - 2011-04-08 16:20

    par for the course for sanzar and irb to allow a win at rwc 2011 punting the all blacks,whats also sad is that our officials in control are just as irresponsible and idiots like those who made these mistakes if they allow this madness to continue.lawrence and jonker are certainly superior to a number of refs mentioned above and are without a doubt cleaner in fairness and impartiality(they call it consistency) . there are definetely many dark clouds of ambiguoity,and deceit hanging over alain rolland and steve walshs head concerning their imbalances toward sa rugby. its said in the land of the blind cyclops is king,but the question was asked to the blind man,is their anything worse than loosing your sight and the old man replied, yes, loosing your vision.,i believe sa rugby has got to stand up and stop being trampled by nz rugby, because each time it occurs we think ok this once let it go, in the name of sportmanship, and you know what?each time they etch a victory in their score records and we record a loss.

  • lenand40 - 2011-04-08 19:32

    I do not feel sorry for Marius Jonker. Blue Bulls vs Stormers. Need I say more?

  • rockster666 - 2011-04-08 23:27

    Paddy O'brien is now running to the bank with his suit case full of SA rands. What goes around comes around.

  • Dok - 2011-04-09 11:42

    No joke people, this is for real. Week after week we complain about the bad decisions made by these 2 refs and now that they are overlooked we complain about that also! If you look at some of the other refs that has been chosen you will ask how the hell is it possible! This is just another way for the IRB to make sure that the preferred team goes all the way during the WC. And as usual we will all play roll over and die as we always do.

  • Wayne - 2011-04-09 12:23

    Watson is a typical Afrikaner turncoat...he will never have the balls to stand up for his country..

      Dok - 2011-04-09 21:40

      This is so true. Watson is an example of a typical SARU board member! They all have the roll over and die attitude! In his heart I know that Watson wish he was born in NZ or AUS in order for him to koep more gevreet with the IRB!

      Dok - 2011-04-09 21:41

      This is so true. Watson is an example of a typical SARU board member! They all have the roll over and die attitude! In his heart I know that Watson wish he was born in NZ or AUS in order for him to koep more gevreet with the IRB!

      Dok - 2011-04-09 21:41

      This is so true. Watson is an example of a typical SARU board member! They all have the roll over and die attitude! In his heart I know that Watson wish he was born in NZ or AUS in order for him to koep more gevreet with the IRB!

      Dok - 2011-04-09 21:41

      This is so true. Watson is an example of a typical SARU board member! They all have the roll over and die attitude! In his heart I know that Watson wish he was born in NZ or AUS in order for him to koep more gevreet with the IRB!

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-04-09 12:47

    Northern hemisphere refs are experts at spoiling rugby as a spectacle. I rate our refs the best in terms of keeping games flowing, and balanced decisions - regardless of who is playing.

  • Deon - 2011-04-09 13:56

    I think the selection panel watched these two referee Blue Bulls games over the past few years. Both very biased towards Bulls. They deserve being overlooked, the are not known for their neutrality. Lawrence looks more like model, hairdo lipstiffie etc. He has always been themost good looking of the Loftus girls.

      Kleinboet - 2011-04-10 00:16

      Halleluja! As die paneel dit regkry om die twee here sover te kry om uit te tree, het hulle iewers iets reg gedoen! Mag ook net wees dat die Bulletjies skielik minder bekers wen as hulle uittree.

  • TheDuck - 2011-04-10 10:05

    Retards this is no surprise. Only a maximun of 2 referees per country were allowed. It is unfortunate as the South Africa (and broader Southern Hemishpere) are by far the best in world rugby. POOR ARTICLE.

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