Ref did wrong Cheetahs - Bray

2012-03-13 17:41

Johannesburg - SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray has admitted there was a “big imbalance” in the way referee Keith Brown allowed the Brumbies an advantage in hitting in at the scrums in their match on Saturday.

Bray has also called for more clarity on the final penalty, the one which gifted the Brumbies a victory on the whistle after being behind for most of the match.

It is clear that SANZAR is not happy with Brown’s calls in the game, especially in the setpiece, where the Cheetahs were penalised five times, often within striking distance, and saw the Brumbies claw their way back from 23-10 to win the game.

While there is nothing that can be done about the result, talk within refereeing circles is that Brown is on shaky ground and will need to up his game or fall off the SANZAR refereeing panel.

Bray, in Cape Town to meet with SARU officials and with teams in the country, said that Brown would still undergo the official SANZAR review, but had already done a “self-review” where the imbalance was apparent.

“Keith has done his own self-review and out of it the scrums to me stood out as the big imbalance. Taking out the debate about the last penalty, the imbalance came with the way he managed the engage sequence in the scrum setpieces,” Bray told

“There was no question that the Cheetahs did go early, but both packs did and that started earlier with the Brumbies going early on the engage call, to which the Cheetahs responded. There were consequences to that, in that the hip position got messy and the Cheetahs lost confidence in the engage process. Keith has to take ownership of that in the game.”

As for the final penalty, where the Cheetahs were penalised for wheeling the scrum, but have subsequently claimed it was the Brumbies and not them who wheeled the setpiece, Bray is waiting for clarity from the three country scrum experts before making a call.

The Cheetahs afterwards said they ordered players not to wheel the scrum in case there was to be a penalty, but were penalised anyway.

“I’ve sent an email to the three scrum coaches in the countries and am waiting for a response,” Bray explained.

“The issue is that about three years ago we had what we call a “sideways crib”, where the back five literally walk sideways in the scrum. At the time we all agreed that it was rubbish and a negative tactic that was not in the spirit of the contest at the scrum.

“We spent a lot of time at the time debating how do you rule on it. The coaches felt at the time that you need to allow players to have an effective forward push before a scrum can wheel. If there is that, then if the scrum goes around the corner, and the scrum literally turns on its access, it isn’t illegal, as long as there is a forward shove.”

“What I’ve asked is these three or four decisions which led to penalties and the last one to have a professional view as to how we approach this. We need to get back to all the referees and make sure they are mindful that this must be done legally.”


  • Bulldozer - 2012-03-13 17:46

    Too late now.

      Blou-Daan - 2012-03-13 18:04

      And there is nothing that can be done about the result.

      jandreleroux - 2012-03-13 18:59

      SANZAR admitting that a ref can make a mistake? Goodness whats next? Malema joining the SPCA?

      Thomas - 2012-03-13 19:10

      If SANZAR can tell the ref he is off because he is not good enough, then why can't they tell SARU the Kings aren't inn because the are not good enough?????????

      Nick - 2012-03-14 09:42

      It is too late Bulldozer - yes - but at least they have acknowledged it. I never thought I would ever see it - ie fairness towards an SA team from a New Zealand referee - but, yeah - Thank-You Lyndon Bray.. Keith Brown must never ref a Super Rugby match again - simple - go ref ITM Cup in NZ - stay off the main stage - stay away (dare I say it?) - another NZ cheat! If the verdict comes back as "guilty" - the log points should at least be shared - 2 points each (as if a draw). Yes it would create a precedent - so what - it would also send a very clear message to referees with bias in their blood... Go Cheetahs this weekend - hopefully the rub of the green goes our way for a change! :)

  • Nico - 2012-03-13 18:00

    easy, let the ref play the Cheetah players the match fee they would have got if they won, or any other winning bonuses they would have got. just one example and all refs will be 100% neutral :)

      Francois - 2012-03-13 19:25

      Not only for this game, the additional three points the Cheetahs could have scored in winning the game, can proof vital in the end not to be relagated and make space for the Kings. I think SANZAR must pay the Cheetahs that financial loss or let them play in a S 16 or let the Aussies drop one team in favour of SA.

      Nick - 2012-03-14 09:43

      BRILLIANT idea Nico! Believe you me - Paddy O'Brien would never allow it - he, himself, would be bankrupt from all his match-fixing!

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-03-13 18:03

    bad loser naka. get a new coach please

  • pieter.thefuture - 2012-03-13 18:06

    just like the try in the league stage of last years super15 that dewaldt duvenhage got off a mistake from a crusader lineout - the ref decided that the lineout should be retaken instead of giving advantage after the try was scored - after the review of the game sanzar said the try should have been awarded - that score would also have changed the outcome of that game. Too late is right Bulldozer - Something like this can cost players and coaches their careers, but nothing happens to the ref - except he has to "up his game"

      Norval - 2012-03-13 20:24

      how quickly can a ref refer it to the TMO, the TMO should get more involved.

  • Fred - 2012-03-13 18:06

    Lindon, you too should handle your Ego and get into the background, where ALL sports officials should be. This you can only achieve by crafting an effective officiating system with the other referees. Everyone with half a brain and a handled Ego knows what this looks like: team appeals during matches. We're waiting, while your Ego prances around on the front page of newspapers playing "I'm so important". Actually many people have left rugby already.

      John - 2012-03-14 08:07

      Stupid meaningless argument and unjustified. Bray was a damn good ref and I've never heard him say anything. What is so egotistical about addressing a question asked by the this journalist. He has proven he will take action if called for on many occasions.

  • Gert - 2012-03-13 18:13

    Ban the referee from blowing again, maybe some Aussie dollars did the talking

  • Paul - 2012-03-13 18:18

    guess the ref will be replaced this week, by who you ask? BRYCE LAWRENCE SA will always lose with these cheats running SANZAR!

      Nick - 2012-03-14 09:59

      Well said Paul - absolutely well said sir! Cheats - plain and simple - New Zealand/ Antipodean cheats! And the prime-cheat - the architect of all match-fixing (in Test match rugby - inevitably involving the Boks in one way or another - to protect NZ) - is Paddy O'Brien!!

  • Bill - 2012-03-13 18:34

    A little different from our own Andre Watson's reaction when a ref is criticized............................

  • Richard - 2012-03-13 18:36

    Well at least they looking into it. That is a move in the right direction. Can't change the result which sucks, but it means the boys will be more amped to take it this wkd!

  • Chris Bekker - 2012-03-13 18:54

    I'm not a cheetah supporter but what does it matter wether the last or first penalty was wrongly called fact is where there is a 2point diffrence its going to cost them the game. Poor ref'ing and would like to see less talk and more do!

  • nurghaans - 2012-03-13 19:14

    Bloody Cheats!!!!!

  • Mike - 2012-03-13 19:30

    Who proof-reads this stuff? A scrum "turns on its access" ? Axis maybe?

  • Stormkaap - 2012-03-13 19:41

    I wonder what happened to this oke. he actually admitted the ref was wrong! Andre Watson take note. If your TMO couldnt see that Mvovo's foot had to be over the line before he touched down, then both the TMO and you need specs!

  • Chris - 2012-03-13 19:51

    What a makeover! Brown almost allowed the Brumbies carte blanche throughout the game. The Brumbies player who came in from the Cheetahs side giving the Cheetahs a penalty at half time when they were on a roll to the tryline should have been sent off for ten as well. I've lost interest watching Super 15 rugby. It's all about the ref!

  • Pierre - 2012-03-13 20:05

    The rebuke from SANZAR to Brown should read like this: 'Brown my boy, we all have to earn a bit of extra money here and there, but please, next time, try not to make it so obvious'. Would we see less of this type of Bryce/Brown thing if referees were better payed??? Ek vra ma net!

  • Trevor - 2012-03-13 20:50

    Well it is true. The Austrlasion refs have been under suspision for years. The world cup open up the beginning and now the others are being exposed. These refs should be removed some the game. The public might not study the detail of the rules but they are not stupid.

  • BuzzM - 2012-03-13 20:58

    Sounds like he went to the "Bryce Lawrence School of Referees"!

  • Moses - 2012-03-13 21:21

    What is irritating about Lyndon Bray"s comments is that while it is blatantly clear that SA sides have been victimised once again....but yet he tries to justify it all by saying nothing can be done now or its too late now to change the result. Three weeks have passed and all the talk has been about the refs. Empty stands show that people are are getting fed up with all this inconsistency. This week will be worse. SANZAR needs to improve the quality of the super rugby brand....this must start with improving the quality of the Refs immediately.

      Alan - 2012-03-14 09:00

      The only way to improve the refs is to sack all aussie and kiwi refs, they are blatantly cheating. I for 1 have now cancelled DSTV subscription following the RWC brycegate cheating. I'll also stay away from stadiums and hopefully everyone else does too. If SARU won't stand up for our rights as South African's then starve them of income and maybe just maybe they will come around.

      Nick - 2012-03-14 10:07

      Alan - well said mate!!! That's how you 'hurt' the incompetent nerds - in the pocket!! SARU (formerly SARFU) have been a pathetic, weak, appeasing, hand-wringing, collection of nerds and leeches - since the most useless and appeasing of them all - Rian Oberholzer! The last SARFU/ SARU President we had with any backbone - was Dr. Louis Luyt, and before him - Dr. Danie Craven. Since Dr. Luyt - it's just been a bunch of pathetic salary and bonus thieves - who've done NOTHING to stand up for SA! So - yeah - ditto mate - I'm also boycotting the stadia for Super Rugby matches! I must admit - this also has a lot to do with the absolutely useless, incompetent, and political-agenda's driven charade - that is the current crop of administrators defiling the hallowed corridors of Newlands.

  • Louw - 2012-03-13 21:26

    Supporters complain about the complex new rules. As long as coaches look for loop holes in the new rules ie playing against the spirit of the game, new rules will be passed again.

  • Bokfan - 2012-03-14 00:14

    Geez tell us something we didnt know.

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-03-14 06:41

    The standard of refereeing has not been great this season , its a professional game refs need to step up

  • Graham - 2012-03-14 08:34

    It was getting to the point that the Cheetahs were afraid to scrum for fear of being penalised. Most of those calls were arbitary all the way through-yet Brown did nothing about feeding the scrum. In fact, all refs are gutless when it comes to this point. Restarts should be either strictly refereed or the ball should be just thrown in the air and may the best man win!

  • Learn - 2012-03-14 08:41

    We've said it for years the NZ and AUS ref's will give the slightest or 50/50 calls against SA teams. As many said this might cost the Cheetahs a super 15 place, The cheetahs and players must sue SanZAR and SARU for loss of income due to bad planning, bad decision making and prejudice both in the game and outside forcing a team to play that is not on the same level nor prepared.

  • Alan - 2012-03-14 08:55

    Yet again, yet again, yet again. It has been 16 years of bias against South Africa and South African teams. Time SARU stands up ... oh what is the point of arguing, SARU are a bunch of kiwi and aussie supporters anyway. We can only do 1 thing and that is to smack the refs if we see tham in pubs or in the streets, that way we can get a bit of satisfaction out of all the cheating. Steve, Stu, Kieht, Bryce, etc I'll see you in a pub or hotel somewhere in the world...

      Jc - 2012-03-14 09:54

      Alan, Luckily Stu Dickenson retired last year, so that's one less crook to worry about!

  • jacquesalthea.knotter - 2012-03-14 09:14

    Just help him and correct him ,it will make him a better ref.But don't condemn him.As he is still has more courage than those behind the TV.My team lost because of his decision.But I still respect the split decisions he has to make in a game that is moving veryquickly .I say the line referees need to wake up a bit with regards to the line out throws.

  • burger.hoon - 2012-03-14 09:21

    NZ and Ausie refs are dodgy period

  • Naas - 2012-03-14 12:14

    The comments amazes me. The refs are poor but to single out the Aus and Nz refs as cheats is ridiculous. Who gave Greyling a try against the Cheetas? A Nz or Aus ref? Who messed up the Lions/Cheetas match A Nz Aus ref? Forget about the remarks on so called cheats let us concentrate on poor refereeing which include the SA lot I can write a book on poor decisions by SA refs. Are they also cheats?

      Sonnyjakes - 2012-03-14 15:30

      Tell them Naas

  • Burty13 - 2012-03-14 21:38

    you lot are just upset the NZ has the best rugby side in the world - Maybe with a better coach SA may be able to do a bit better. Peter De Villiers....? Cmon, the man was a terrible coach! he took SA rugby on a downward spiral. Now all you can do is bitch about refs - how about not letting the game get to that point? you lot are pathetic......go throw some more bottles.

      Bennie - 2012-03-25 21:59


  • Dezhark - 2012-03-14 23:13

    Players should be given more power on-field for reviews. Just fining or penaliising the referee does not affect the outcome of the match and that should also be revised. A match or points deduction/review should be done post-match and the outcome and final winner of the match afterwards. Until a time/date where referees are bred on a solitary island where they qualify and not favour one team above the other.

  • Dezhark - 2012-03-14 23:15

    Dis nie net die Cheetahs wat daaronder lei nie, dis deesdae 'n algemene ding dat referees swak blaas. Mens haat om hulle te blameer, maar feite is feite. SARugby of Sanzar moet wakker word!!!

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