Rugby World Cup 2011

Liebel breaks Bok ref silence

2011-10-18 17:18
Neels Liebel (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Conditioning coach Neels Liebel is the first person from the Springboks' setup to vent anger at the referees at the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence was heavily criticised in the media for his performance in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between South Africa and Australia. His failure to control proceedings at the breakdown allowed Australia's fetcher flank, David Pocock, to have a field day and constantly disrupt the Boks' ball.

The Wallabies won 11-9, despite only having about 25% of possession.

And according to, Liebel hit out at Lawrence's appointment on his Facebook page.

Liebel, who has been the Bok conditioning coach under Peter de Villiers for the last four years, is normally a quiet and controlled individual. However, his frustrations appear to have gotten the better of him this time round.

He seems to believe IRB refereeing boss, Paddy O'Brien, should not have appointed New Zealander Lawrence as the referee in the Boks' clash against Australia. Liebel also implies that having a South African referee (Craig Joubert) for the semi-final, somehow favoured the All Blacks against the Wallabies.

“Thank you Paddy O’Brain (sic), you won the World Cup for New Zealand,”
he wrote. “Give the Boks a Kiwi ref and the Aussies v NZ a SA ref. A set up for Kiwi success…”

SA referee, Joubert, was lauded for his performance in the semi-final and duly awarded with refereeing the final between New Zealand and France on Sunday.

* RWC final odds on BET.CO.ZA: New Zealand vs France


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