Cape Town - Former Scotland and Springbok prop John Allan is not happy with the standard of international refereeing.
Allan, who played nine Tests for Scotland and 13 for the Springboks, spoke exclusively to Sport24 ahead of Saturday’s Test between his former teams at Murrayfield.
In the interview, the 54-year-old also shared his frustrations regarding the standard of Test refereeing.
“Barring South African referee Jaco Peyper, who is consistent, every other international referee is inconsistent. It’s not only South Africa complaining about some dodgy refereeing decisions. The fact of the matter is that every country is complaining.
“I just don’t understand it because in this day and age they have got the TMO (television match official) and all the help they need. Match officials have got no excuse. I believe referees should be judged just like players on a performance basis. If referees make a mistake, they must apologise or face the consequence,” Allan said.
The former Sharks hooker added that e though referees had “too much power in the way rugby is run”.
“You can see that some of the laws that World Rugby are coming up with are from a referee’s perspective. My biggest bugbear is the ruck law because you never know who is offside and who isn’t. In my playing days, if someone was lying on the ground you could do something about it by raking him and moving him out of the way. Nowadays, you can do things on the ground and everyone will look to take advantage. The referees must be consistent, so the players know where they stand.”
Allan also shared his thoughts on the appointment of French referee Romain Poite for Saturday’s Test.
“I don’t know why we always get the French. We have had our problems with French referees before, but I think we must just shut up and play the game. With Siya Kolisi being a new captain, he is obviously more worried about his own leadership with his players, but I think he has got that right.
“One of the reasons we came back against France was because of Kolisi’s leadership. Once you are confident that you can lead your players, you can then focus your attention on the referee and start sucking up to him. It’s about trying to influence the man in the middle.
“I often played against Sean Fitzpatrick and I used to think that he was having a tea party with most referees. If you complain and shout at the referee you are not going to earn his respect, but if you ask intelligent questions and query a few aspects during the game, the referee will think to himself: ‘This man knows the game’. As a captain, it’s also crucial to tell the referee during the match, ‘Well done, good decision.’ The little things like that make a difference because referees are human.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:20 (SA time).
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Sam Skinner 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Chris Harris.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe