SA referee: Kearns won’t budge

    2015-06-29 15:42

    Cape Town - Australian television commentator and former Wallabies hooker Phil Kearns is throwing leather from his corner after being bombarded with criticism for accusing South African referee Craig Joubert of “a shocker” in one of the Super Rugby semi-finals on Saturday.

    Kearns, once a Waratahs favourite, was savaged by New Zealand fans on social media for suggesting Joubert, who officiated in the last World Cup final, had made various poor calls in the Tahs’ 35-17 home reverse to the Highlanders, which saw the defending champions bow out.

    “Craig Joubert’s had a shocking game tonight; there’s no doubt about it,” Kearns was heard to say during the broadcast.

    He was especially aggrieved by the official both yellow-carding Jacques Potgieter, the Waratahs’ blindside flank, and awarding a penalty try, after Joubert’s fellow South African high-tackled the Highlanders’ Patrick Osborne inches from the tryline.

    But Kearns told the New Zealand Herald on Monday that he stood by his accusations.

    “If you’re having a good game as a referee you don’t have 30 000 people chanting ‘Joubert’s a w*nker’. And at the end ... he got booed off the field. That would tend to indicate that he didn’t have a good game.

    “I think Joubert’s performance overall was average. I thought there were a lot of inconsistencies ... in the commentary position you just call it as you see it.”

    Kearns has previously been accused of being a “one-eyed Waratah”, but he insisted he also handed out praise to the Highlanders en route to their clear-cut victory in Sydney.

    “It just so happens that Australians think New Zealand and South African commentators are the most biased in the world, the South Africans think the Australian and Kiwi commentators are the most biased in the world and the Kiwis think the South African and Australian commentators are the most biased in the world.

    “You can’t win.”

    Read More On:  super 15 rugby

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