Kaplan: Kearns' comments a joke!

    2015-07-01 11:57

    Cape Town - Former South African Test referee Jonathan Kaplan has hit out at Australian commentator Phil Kearns for his criticism of Craig Joubert during last weekend’s Super Rugby semi-final between the Waratahs and Highlanders in Sydney.

    READ: Kearns won't budge

    Kearns, a former Wallabies and Waratahs hooker, hit out at the South African referee after he awarded a penalty try to the Highlanders following a swinging arm tackle from Waratahs flank Jacques Potgieter which prevented wing Patrick Osborne from scoring.

    Joubert also yellow-carded Potgieter for the incident as the Highlanders claimed a 35-17 win.

    Kaplan commented on the incident via his website,

    He said Joubert made the right call and criticised Kearns, writing:

    “Joubert’s decision was correct. He methodically went through the process, highlighting to the public his thoughts on the matter and then explained his decision very coherently to the Tahs’ captain and the guilty player. His reasoning, but not for the action of the swinging arm, a try would most probably have been scored. Given that Osborne only ended up a few centimetres short, it was the referee’s judgment that he would have scored but not for the swinging arm. It seems fair enough, even though to some viewers it may have seemed like a tough call.

    “This led to Phil Kearns, a really good guy off the field, spitting his dummy out and showing his true colours by claiming that the referee was having a shocker. He then tried to include Rod Kafer into the mix, who wouldn’t be drawn into the tirade. It was an appalling bit of commentary and must have left his employers red-faced at the degree of parochialism he was showing to an audience that deserved better. Not only did he display the petulance that cannot and should not be tolerated, but he misled the public (ignorantly I would say) about the actual events that were transpiring in the match. What a joke! And therein lies the issue… the networks are only too keen to get ex-players involved, some of whom only have the most basic knowledge of the laws of the game; and these characters are misleading the public and giving them a distorted view of events on the field.”

    CLICK HERE to read Kaplan's full column

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