Town - Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers believes
there will almost certainly be officiating controversy at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in
Refereeing continues to be firmly
in the international spotlight, with concerns over continued offsides defensive
lines and infringements at the breakdown going unpunished central to the discussion.
There are, across the spectrum,
still many grey areas when it comes to officiating and over the course of the
season there is seldom a weekend that passes without a refereeing talking
The history of the World Cup is
also drenched in controversy.
In 2015, South African Craig
Joubert's role in the quarter-final between Australia and Scotland was
highly-publicised when he awarded the Wallabies a late penalty for accidental
offsides that won them the game.
In 2011, Bryce Lawrence blew the
Springboks out of the game in their quarter-final against Australia in a
refereeing performance that is still spoken about to this day.
In 2007, the TMO referral of
England wing Mark Cueto's disallowed try against the Boks in the World Cup
final would be replayed countless times in the years to come, with opinion
still divided on whether it should have been given as a try.
Also at that 2007 tournament,
Wayne Barnes allowed a late French try that saw them knock New Zealand out of
the World Cup, only for replays to show that it should have been called a
Now, as the 2019 showpiece draws
nearer, refereeing is central once more.
De Villiers, speaking at a Laureus Sport for Good breakfast
at the Southern Sun in
Cape Town on Wednesday, says it is inevitable that there will be drama in
"There will be controversy,
purely because of the human factor," he said.
"Decisions will be made ...
and sometimes decisions get made that we don't really understand.
"I think all that we can ask
for as spectators and players is that we see consistency throughout.
"The problem comes in when
one guy officiates differently to the other and when you get blown up for one
thing the one day, and then the opposing team does the same the next day and it
"We've got to understand the
human factor of it as well. They will make mistakes in the same way that
players will make mistakes. Hopefully they aren't mistakes that will cause one
team to win that didn't really deserve to win.
"It's unfortunately the
nature of the game and hopefully we get the rub of the green this time
The Boks play defending champions
New Zealand in Yokohama on September 21 in their tournament opener and
Frenchman Jerome Garces will oversee that clash.