SANZAR rewards Lawrence

2011-11-11 07:45

Cape Town - South African rugby fans have not seen the end of controversial New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence.

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SANZAR have announced that Lawrence have made it onto their merit panel for next year's Super Rugby tournament.

Lawrence was heavily criticised for his handling of South Africa's Rugby World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Australia, during which he allowed a "free-for-all" at the breakdown.

This comes after it was reported on Thursday that Lawrence was nominated for his country’s referee of the year award.

There was, however, some good news for South Africans after 5 local referees made it onto the 10-man merit panel. They are: Marius Jonker, Craig Joubert, Jonathan Kaplan, Mark Lawrence and Jaco Peyper.

Stuart Berry and Lourens van der Merwe made the reserve panel, while Pro Legoete missed out.

New Zealander Lyndon Bray, SANZAR's refereeing boss, says they want to utilise only the best referees for most of next year's tournament.

“We plan to give our merit panel referees around 80% of the games in Super Rugby, next year, with the reserve panel picking up the balance.

"Our aim is for the best referees to be refereeing the most rugby. The Reserve Panel will operate in a similar way to a rugby team’s reserve bench,” explained Bray.
“It is inevitable that we need reserve referees performing in the middle because, like players, referees can suffer from injuries and loss of form. In addition, it is vital that we continue to develop and grow our talent for the future, which cannot be achieved overnight.”
“The five new referees will gain valuable Super Rugby experience in 2012 and will join three other referees on our reserve panel. This will help us maintain the growth of our team, with up to five referees potentially leaving the team by the end of next year.”

Four referees from 2011 will not be involved in the 2012 tournament - Stuart Dickinson has retired, whilst Vinny Munro, Pro Legoete and Nathan Pearce were not selected for 2012.
“Stuart had a very celebrated career in the top flight for many years and he will be sorely missed by our team.
“Knowing that we are likely to lose some more referees from our team next year, it was important to balance the new guys selected for 2012 with some maturity and experience. 

"We believe we have a strong team of referees for Super Rugby 2012 Super Rugby and some new competition will be healthy within our team,” Bray said.

SANZAR's panels for 2012's Super Rugby tournament:

Merit panel: Keith Brown (NZ), Marius Jonker (SA), Craig Joubert (SA), Jonathan Kaplan (SA), Bryce Lawrence (NZ), Mark Lawrence (SA), Jaco Peyper (SA), Chris Pollock (NZ, Steve Walsh (Aus), Garratt Williamson (NZ).

Reserve panel: Stuart Berry (SA), Mike Fraser (NZ), Angus Gardner (Aus), Glen Jackson (NZ), Andrew Lees, (Aus) Ian Smith (Aus), Lourens van der Merwe (SA), Jonathon White (NZ).


  • steyts - 2011-11-11 06:44

    WHAT A JOKE!!!!

      Rene - 2011-11-11 07:39

      Can Sport24 quit reporting on this clown?? I really really DON'T like this little pathetic man!!!! Every time the same picture of him - I'm going to start getting nightmares from this face!! It's week-end (almost), Fatboy has been suspended, can we at least have some good news for a change when it comes to rugby?

      roboman1 - 2011-11-11 07:48

      Not a joke really. the man deserves the reward and accolade and the recognition from the New Zealand rugby community. They would not have won the world cup if it was not for good ol' crooked Bryce, so absolutely, why not reward the man that brought home the Webb Ellis trophy? The New Zealanders are becoming more Australian everyday! Never forget the New Zealander that voted against SA football to stop us hosting the 2006 SWC, remember him? Also under very suspicious circumstance.

      Alan - 2011-11-11 07:51

      News Flash : New Zealand holds it's Annual Meat Awards. Chop of the year goes to.......

      Maarten - 2011-11-11 08:09

      Yes, LET Mr. Lawrence come to South Africa. Please Do....... Remember Piet van Zyl?

      Marcus - 2011-11-12 19:32

      Bliksem Maarten, please don't incite lunatics to attack a ref! I'm still embarrased about Piet!!

      adrien.mcguire - 2011-11-13 18:57

      Something needs to be done to get rid of Paddy O'Brien. He is an arrogant dickhead. What has happened to the 100000 petition against Lawrence?

      StirMonger - 2011-11-13 19:32

      The plot thickens !! looks like a reward for his bit of nonsense.

      Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2011-11-19 07:25

      GOOD! It shows that the threats of violence, the hate and nastiness of the SA fans count for nothing. Little children, temper tantrums don't do anything.

  • Izak - 2011-11-11 06:50

    Lawrence brought the cup home for them. Why should he not be rewarded?

      Spiff - 2011-11-11 07:06

      LOL! Well said!

      gordon.wolfaardt - 2011-11-11 07:30

      hahahahahaha, shame

  • Wesley - 2011-11-11 07:03

    If you ask me he should have collected the Cup after New Zealand won the final

  • Jack - 2011-11-11 07:11

    WTF? This is a big kick in the nuts for SA fans!!!!!

      Rene - 2011-11-11 07:45

      @Jack, this goes to show that the guys at SARU have no guts - they should have ensured that this guy never ever puts a whistle in his mouth ever again! SARU should have 'removed his wind pipe' forever!!

      Chris - 2011-11-11 08:53

      At least it gives SA fans a chance to "welcome" him whenever he refs a match over here. I've never like booing in a rugby game, but I think I'd make an exception here.

      Koos - 2011-11-11 09:31

      difference between saru and sanzar!

      Grant - 2011-11-14 17:12

      @Koos - SARU should represent SA within SANZAR

  • Barbara - 2011-11-11 07:12

    I'm amazed that Bryce Lawrence could be afforded this accolade. Aside from the fiasco of the RWC South Africa / Australia match:the collateral affect of his ineptitude demeaned the balance of the tournament and even placed a question mark on New Zealands victory.

  • brett.macdonald1 - 2011-11-11 07:13

    He's not only New Zealand's referee of the year, he's their player of the year too!

  • Burtfred - 2011-11-11 07:22

    If Bryce refs a game in South Africa, I will certainly not attend.

      Gerhard - 2011-11-11 07:35

      You have it all wrong Burtfred! I will most defenitely be there! What Piet van Zyl did, will look like a tea party compared to what I have in mind for Bryce Lawrence, the cheat!!

      Rene - 2011-11-11 07:42

      @Burtfred, Sanzar are very dof, but I doubt they will send this guy to SA! The 'radicals' will take him out for sure!

      Alan - 2011-11-11 07:52

      Why not attend Burt? It wil be the best sports we will ever see in SA. Whoohooo

      Rene - 2011-11-11 07:56

      @Gerhard, lol - but still don't think we will see him in SA, you cannot ref a game with body guards!! Believe me, he will need them!

      Alan - 2011-11-11 08:01

      @Rene .. whahaa - If he comes to SA, I will be the first to buy a ticket to the game. WWE Smackdown comes to rugby!

      Rene - 2011-11-11 08:07

      GO BOYS, make us proud - Please send him to SA - that will be fun watching BL 'piepie' in his pant(ie)s!

  • Lionel - 2011-11-11 07:23

    Bryce.....Pappa wag vir jou..............

  • Benmica - 2011-11-11 07:35

    Bring him here....we need another Potchefstroom tackle...I would love it. bring him here...

  • Noel - 2011-11-11 07:37

    Wheres Piet van Zyl... your country needs you. Your Mission: Attend the next Bryce Lawrence officiated game and do what you do best...

  • steveroodt - 2011-11-11 07:38

    "He will be punished, but that's up to the IRB. I do not believe we will see him in any Rugby World Cup (ever) again," said Watson. Watson also said that the SA referees association will aim to take action against Lawrence. "It's done and dusted now, but we will be taking action. We want to make sure it doesn't happen again." And now What happening Mr Watson

  • Blouballas - 2011-11-11 07:42

    I think it's great. A quality ref with lots of integrity. It's not his fault helium was appointed 4 years ago to drag the Boks down into a hole.

      Rene - 2011-11-11 07:58

      Ag nee man Blouballas, jy kan wraggies nie helium blameer omdat BL 'n crook is nie!!

      Blouballas - 2011-11-11 08:09

      Rene, n oordentelike coach sou sy kaptein geleer het om na 8 minute die 3 punte te vat toe die Bokke die kans gekry het. Hy sou ook die manne kon coach om die omtrent 80 kanse wat hulle gehad het om punte aan te teken, te benut. Ons almal weet dit, maar dis maklik om die blaam voor iemand ander se deur te lê.

      jeff.harcourt - 2011-11-11 08:20

      Exactly ! Quit blaming the ref for the teams inability to score

      wayne.lioncachet - 2011-11-11 08:40

      You can only score the penalty points if the ref awards the penalty for the infringement! If you missed the game, BL didn't award the penalties when the offenses were incurred!

      Blouballas - 2011-11-11 08:52

      Wayne, how many times did the Boks drop the ball or take wrong options in the Aus 22? Can't blame Bryce for that.

      Theo - 2011-11-11 09:38

      Blouballas agree with your comments 100% here 's my 10c added: the game was lost on 5 main errors: 1) not taking the opportunities on offer to score 3 points 2) missed drop goal kick 3) pulling down Radike Samo in mid air in your own 22 4) forward pass 5) and whose idea was it to change the game plan in mid tournament? Boks dont do running rugby against Oz and allblacks. Boks only kick away possession.thats their style. They tried something bold and it failed. Anyone of those first 4 errors performed correctly would have won the game.BL did not make those errors , Boks did.The change of game plan was simply suicidal.

      Blouballas - 2011-11-11 10:02

      Theo, dis nice om n Bok supporter raak te loop wat sy rugby ken.

      Eduan - 2011-11-11 12:07

      Blou and Theo - have you ever watched this video - an Australian product about 'forward passes' - do yourself a favour and have a look - near the end is an explanation of the identical pass between JDV and JP which resulted in a try not given - it was NOT a 'forward pass' - the try should have been given. When a player offloads a pass at high speed and in a contact situation - it seems like a forward pass but it is not - the video will explain it all - would like to hear your comments -

      Blouballas - 2011-11-11 13:22

      Eduan, I said nothing about forward passed. The one that was passed to Jean de Villiers (I think), would've been blown by every ref in the world. I did see that clip a while back and it's interesting. What about all the other occasions where balls were spilled and overlaps ignored in the Wallaby 22.

      Theo - 2011-11-12 08:53

      Eduan I saw that video in october.It is interesting however You must agree that Hindsight is 20/20 vision. We as the viewers can watch a game with the advantage of camera views from all angles and make our judgement call. The ref does NOT have our advanage and HAS to make a call in that instant. He can only make THAT call from HIS view point and he must do it immediately. Not a job for the faint hearted when you have millions of fans watching, but still a call he HAS to make from his immediate viewpoint and BL did just that.If it was wrong he would only know after watching the video footage. From what I can recall BL was more or less in line with the player when the ball was passed on so cant argue with that can you? It did seem forward to me too and I was at the game.

      mark.fairbrother3 - 2011-11-14 13:37

      Some of these comments baffle me. I don't "hate" on the ref often, the boks may have won if they played better (I actually think they played very well) but this is a fact IMHO: If BL had officiated the game correctly and the boks played exactly the same way, the would have won. That's enough said............... if you believe that statement, then the ref had a material effect on the result and all the other comments of but they should have done this, should have done that is irrelevant.

      rossallenronnie - 2011-11-14 20:17

      bryce lawrence will get his day if he gets a game here in south africa that is for sure

  • Benmica - 2011-11-11 07:43

    Rugby thug 'swamped' with support Potchefstroom - "Although I'm still seen as public enemy No 1, I've been swamped by people congratulating me for crash-tackling the referee," says Pieter van Zyl of Potchefstroom. He was speaking shortly after his successful bail application in the Durban magistrate's court. "It was my own decision. Good or bad. I'll have to live with it." He faces a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after he crash-tackled Irish referee, Dave McHugh, in the Springboks Tri-Nations clash against the All Blacks at King's Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday in front of a capacity crowd. He was released on R3 000 bail.

  • Joseph - 2011-11-11 07:45

    i rest my case, this is totally insane!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dianne - 2011-11-11 07:56

    Maybe if we stopped reporting on malema and lawrence they'll go away! Def a case of scraping the bottom of the barrel (both cases)

  • Gary - 2011-11-11 08:04

    Just goes to show that SARU have no guts and are the weaklink................time for change at the top of SA Rugby

  • derrick.dawson - 2011-11-11 08:14

    It's high time that SA rugby start flexing their financial muscle in SANZAR. South Africa have the biggest audience and the most cash, but are happy being bitches to our Antipodean brothers. Time to start acting like the big boys they are. SARU can learn allot from the BCCI. Putting this joker of a ref on the elite panel is a kick in the nuts to SA, just because daddy is connected. I'm sure old Brycie will be travelling with a couple of bodygaurds.

  • Andrew - 2011-11-11 08:16

    Confirms that there was match fixing involved

  • WilliamPie000 - 2011-11-11 08:23

    Well If SANZAR doesn't respect the wishes of the spectators who pay for everything they (SANZAR) have I really think that we should start boicotting rugby. There is no other resolution at present.

  • justin.pretorius - 2011-11-11 08:28

    All the more reason to stop watching rugby

  • Brent - 2011-11-11 08:28


  • Brent - 2011-11-11 08:31

    maybe its a good thing - because he may be forced to come to south africa ... and 'pappa wag vir jou' will be the least of his problems...

  • Frans - 2011-11-11 08:33

    I will sponsor his guide dog.

  • Jerhone - 2011-11-11 08:35

    we can't wait, send him over here i think you will have more police than fans at the game

  • Philip - 2011-11-11 08:39

    Of course he was nominated by NZ! He handed them the WC victory by ensuring they wouldnt get knocked out by South Africa and an easy victory into the finals by beating a below par Australia.

  • Ben - 2011-11-11 08:39

    NZ have to award him for winning the wold cub for them. They did not want to play the boks therefore get the ref so sort the boks out. Old trick in the book

  • Shawn - 2011-11-11 08:41

    He is the best referee in New Zealand becuase he cheated the real world champs out of the world cup.

      rusty.jarmain - 2011-11-11 08:50

      Sweeping statement, Shawn! Let's keep it real, shall we, and comment only on demonstrated fact.

      Kevin - 2011-11-11 13:49

      Rusty - who are you to tell other people what to say? Bryce worked his whistle . That is the only way NZ could win . Its now pay back time . Who gives a toss about NZ anyway?

      rusty.jarmain - 2011-11-11 17:12

      Kevin: I agree that Bryce's performance in the quarter-final showed him to be either hopelessly incompetent or totally biassed in favour of Australia. For the record, I am as pro-Bok as anyone on Earth, but anyone who writes off a New Zealand rugby team playing on their own turf simply on the strength of chauvinistic bias is wandering aimlessly somewhere in cloud cuckoo land. And as for "giving a toss" about NZ, the history books will tell you that, in the game of rugby at least, the country is deserving of more respect than you seem capable of acknowledging. And also for the record, other people can say whatever they like, but I reserve for myself the right to express my own point of view. So, with Shawn, keep it real!

      Bruce - 2011-11-11 17:34

      World Chumps you mean look at the last 2 years. The Boks were everbody´s bitches

  • dawiej - 2011-11-11 08:42

    Pummel him with naartjies if he sets foot on a SA rubyfield

  • Bob - 2011-11-11 08:44

    And Bray is? A New Zealander!

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2011-11-11 08:51

    Good. Let him blow. Maybe it can work in our favor. He will not dare to blow funny against SA again........and if so SARU must have Piet van Zyl's number on speed dail. LOL!!!!!!!

  • paul.maarman - 2011-11-11 08:59

    Blood pressure just went up again....bloody sod....--Merit ass!!

  • Lee - 2011-11-11 09:03

    For what..........make a fix so obvious and pulling it off?

  • Clive - 2011-11-11 09:08

    NZ need to thank him for keeping SA away from the cup, was only tean they were really scared of playing knowing we had their number.

  • donnaveen.howe - 2011-11-11 09:09

    Maybe Tim Noakes is right. Bryce Lawrence was bought. Seems New Zealand rugby is as crooked as Pakistan cricket.

  • Kevin - 2011-11-11 09:13

    The award will be just like the trophy -hollow and the only people who will think they are World Champions are the All Blacks. Of course the New Zealanders will nominate him for referee of the year.He won the World cup all on his own.

  • philip.spies - 2011-11-11 09:17

    Why am I not suprised? During the world cup I read somewhere that his father is involved with the IRB referee board. This is nepotism plain and simple

  • Koos - 2011-11-11 09:30

    Cant wait to see him in RSA!!! especialy @ loftus!!!!! wha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Peter - 2011-11-11 09:48

    time to leave SANZAR and join the N hemisphere competition - the N hemisohere proved that they've got the measure of SANZAR teams and will be a more competitive pool in the future. I'm tired of antipodean bias against our teams - reffing, travel, time zone and a poor brand of rugby. Also SA would benefit from integration with six larger and diverse economies rather than with Aus (coal and media) and NZ (?)

  • Arthur - 2011-11-11 09:56

    N paar naartjies teen die voorkop wanneer hy hier op nuweland kom blaaas sal werk>hy sal self bedank na die dag

  • Bielie - 2011-11-11 10:36

    To the journo who wrote this: Please get Andre Watson's reaction to this, specifically with reference to his remarks that (1) Bryce will be punished for his performance in the SA-Oz game and (2) his total faith in the system.

  • sam.swanpoel - 2011-11-11 11:36

    SARU has been in need of a clean up 4 a long time. Afraid they have no guts at all and what about Andre Watson our chief referee manager?

  • Pete - 2011-11-11 11:37

    what will happen if he has to ref in cape town/Durban,what will the crowed do?

  • Brent - 2011-11-11 13:43

    Reckon Brycie boy will cross the sea to come ref on our turf... If so can I get in line to throw naartjies... or better something harder and Sharper!!!

  • Kevin - 2011-11-11 13:59

    Excellent.....let him come face the music!!!!

  • SirFGrumpy - 2011-11-11 14:09

    I hope Home Affairs treats this wanker like the Dalai Lama and does not issue him with a visa. No one will be able to protect him from Pieter van Zyl!

  • steven.chiaberta - 2011-11-11 18:20

    I honestly think its SARU's fault. Back in the early/mid 90s they intercepted that e-mail going around all the Australian and NZ refs saying 'lets get the japies' - and SARU did absolutely NOTHING about it. The result? Australian and NZ have been getting away with shamelessly screwing us ever since. I just can't understand how they can actually enjoy winning that way. For what its worth, I truly believe in being a good loser (and gracious winner), and I despise blaming the ref or anything else when we don't win. But in SA rugby's case, blaming the ref is often a helluva lot more than just sour grapes.

      Bruce - 2011-11-13 22:22

      Sour grapes at losing is so much part of Sth Africa´s DNA.You have been doing it for decades.You have actually become very good at it if a trifle predictable.What puzzles me is what have you guys got against looking in mirrors and blaming the man in the mirror instead of always finding a scapegoat.

  • wesselsvv - 2011-11-11 19:39

    And for this crap we are selling out the Currie Cup...time to have a serious rethink. NZ bought the World Cup, next year they will buy both the Super Rugby and the Tri Nations. The worst bit is they use OUR money to do it, without SA and Supersport they would be nothing.

      Bruce - 2011-11-12 00:23

      Jeez those Kiwis huh! All 4 million of them stuck on the other side of the world and still able to mastermind n RWC and now Super Rugby and Tri Nations.These guys must be so powerful they deserve a place on the UN Security Council. You obviously have the inside knowledge how these guys have become so huge they can ,manipulate everything. This monster must be stopped mwahahaha. (the sound of the vicious aggressive Kiwi bird)

  • janen.t.murray - 2011-11-12 11:24

    Thank you Bryce you deserve it and on behalf of NZ thank you for winning us the WC from the one dimensional Boks who we would rather had played than Australia the unpredictable.75% people even Tonga could have done more with the ball

  • Pieter - 2011-11-12 15:49

    Forget about Bryce Lawrence. Look at some of the other jokers on that list! Can somebody please explain to me why NZ and Australia, both being strong and world-reknown for their rugby, are incapable of rearing good, even excellent, referees? They have very good players and excellent coaches but when last did they produce a top referee? Can the journalist who wrote this news report please investigate and report on it?

      Trevor - 2011-11-14 19:34

      I agree hes a bad ref, but many of the others are just as bad, if not worse! Why does SA rugby keep making excuses for them and defending them? Because its all part of a larger corrupt conspiracy. Refs get selected not based on merit, but based on politics and favouritism and ability to suck up to people. I know this for a fact, I am a referee myself at EP rugby and this is how things goes here. I already exposed them publically and now they naar on me coz I want to maintain my honesty and integrity in games and they want to run the union in a dishonest manner. Same thing goes on in SA and the IRB- I already phoned Watson and Boksmart and the others and they just ignore me and laugh me off. The whole thing is a farce! There is no integrity whatsoever. The spectators are all blinded to the way they being ripped off and money made out of them. Here in PE refs even get bribed by the "better-than-thou" schools and clubs and if they don't conform, they don't get games and don't get pay. All the suck-up dishonest refs get all the big games and the chairman and committee just sits back and collects the money. It is a real circus and I lost all my respect for rugby in this country, it has been grossly mismanaged and run into the ground! These people have no conscience..

  • Owentjie - 2011-11-12 18:42

    Im upset that SA had to go out this way, but the way reffing is, this stuff goes this way, some im ok, its happened to other teams too. What rteally annoys me is that they re not trying to change it. I dont think that they should be rewarding Bryce for his performance, as it is right now, they cant punish him neither. But the IRB should be putting in a strucure to have refs be accountable for their perfomance and blowing of certain areas. As far as 2years ago they changed the breakdown to suit attacking teams. He blew the game to the advantage of the defensive team. They need to make this consistent, becuase now SA will just go back to the kick and defend game and everyone will be "Oh SA , boring rugby..." Rambling...