Rugby Championship

Kaplan praises NZ-Bok referee

2014-09-16 09:13
Jonathan Kaplan (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Retired South African referee Jonathan Kaplan has heaped praise on the performance of the referee during the All Black-Springbok Test in Wellington at the weekend.

The All Blacks beat the Springboks 14-10 in a game which ended without any controversial incidents from French referee Jerome Garces.

It was a far cry from the previous week's Rugby Championship action when a number of refereeing blunders were made.

On his website, www.ratetheref.co.za, Kaplan wrote:

"What a difference a week makes. We saw two very good Test matches, particularly the New Zealand v Springbok game played in the Cake Tin.

"It was played at tempo for the duration of the match and was superbly refereed by Jerome Garces. Chalk and cheese between what we saw last week. He seemed to be able to make his decisions with ease, without pressure, and for the most part they were well timed, and accurate. He added huge value to a compelling Test match which was deservedly won by New Zealand.

"Make no mistake, the Boks pushed them hard but in the end could not capitalise on five minutes in their opponents 22m area at the end of the game. They could not penetrate a determined rearguard action and lacked composure when a sustained pressured drive may have yielded better outcomes. Having said that, the Boks surprised many with their strong defensive effort at the breakdown, particularly Flo (Francois Louw), (Marcell) Coetzee and (Bryan) Habana who had a huge game in this facet; and their weak effort at lineout where the All Blacks pilfered many balls. The moment of the Test had to be (Kieran) Read's audacious pass to (Richie) McCaw for his try which confirms my belief that he is the best in his position and is destined for greatness if he stays healthy."

However, Kaplan said Argentina were not treated well by New Zealand referee Glen Jackson during their match against the Wallabies on the Gold Coast, won 32-25 by the hosts.

"Their scrum was good and (they) were unlucky not to win some gains with decisions not always going in their favour… At least one whip wheel picked up but not blown. The Argentina scrum may well be the best in the business on the face of what I have seen so far. But, I’m afraid they have not always got the rub of the green and certainly were not well treated in the later game against Australia.

"Australia's all round game is a pleasure to watch, when they are on song, but their Achilles heel was exposed again, and they were incredibly fortunate to get away with the bulk of the penalties in their Test. They looked to be out of sight, but Argentina are no rollovers and with a bit of luck could well have been victors instead of gallant losers again. The Argentinians need more reward for their selections at scrum and not some effort at parity."

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