Strong call for neutral refs

2011-06-07 16:02

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Johannesburg - South African rugby fans believe neutral referees should handle both Super Rugby and Test matches.

That is if a readers’ poll conducted by Sport24 early this week is any yardstick.

We asked the question: “Should neutral referees be appointed to handle Super Rugby and Test matches?”

And of some 3 300 respondents, not much fewer than two-thirds of them (1 934 at the time of writing) preferred the first of three answer options: “Definitely, it takes away all chance of favouritism.”

A smaller lobby (974) liked option two: “Happy to have the best man for the job officiate, even if he’s not neutral.”

Perhaps with tongues ever so slightly in cheeks, 396 respondents went for the third possible answer: “Are you suggesting refs cheat?”

We posted the survey in the wake of complaints by Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske after his charges had lost to the Sharks in Bloemfontein last weekend - he claimed the (all-South African) match officials overlooked various foul play incidents against his team.

Marius Jonker had the whistle, with assistance from Jonathan Kaplan and Cobus Wessels.

Another all-SA panel, this time with vastly experienced Kaplan the main man and Mark Lawrence and Phillip Bosch as his assistants, handles the key derby on Saturday between the Stormers and Bulls at Newlands.


  • Lloyd - 2011-06-07 16:08

    The fact that the Bulls are forever getting the short end of the stick, is getting to us supporters.

      ChrisG - 2011-06-07 16:14

      Better start getting used to it. Half your team is leaving SA soon, so you might want to add some other excuses for when your team loses. The weather? The ball was under-inflated?

      Lloyd - 2011-06-07 16:21

      What's your excuse for being you?

      Ryan - 2011-06-07 16:29

      BWAHAHAAHA. That's the funniest joke i have ever heard. If it wasn't for the refs the bulls wouldn't have won half as many matches.

      GILLBERT - 2011-06-07 16:29

      die verskil is die bulls maak springbokke, sekere ander spanne koop springbokke ;)....... would love some neutral commentators when it comes to SAderby games people like joel stransky irritates the k#k out of me

      Marx - 2011-06-07 16:34

      There are too many grey areas in the rules, period, refs hide behind interpretation of the law !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • watalife - 2011-06-07 16:13

    Marius Plonker is the best when it comes to cheating, as for the okes up north they just love him.

      evereadydude - 2011-06-07 16:30

      Marius Plonker's face on Saturday, said it all when Terblanche knocked the ball,intentionally from miles offside, O F@k Stefan why did you do that!! F@k but i am not going to penalise or sin bin him. "Nobody will Know" Well now you know Plonker....EVERYBODY knows your a CHEAT!!!!!!!! Even Andre Watson suggested it in the media!!!

  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-06-07 16:16

    I just cant understand how and why a ref would intentionally cheat, it's beyond me. Do they make mistakes, absolutely - they're human after all. Why not use the technology available assist the decision making process and remove some of the stress..?

      terry - 2011-06-07 16:27

      Agreed - it is plain stupidity not to use the technology available. If they were able to refer the 'Head-butt' incident on Saturday to a video ref, he would have told the ref that there was no incident, and the Bulls-Waratahs game could have had a different result. There are many other cases where a video ref could have provided better information to the ref in order to get better decisions.

      Lloyd - 2011-06-07 16:33

      I agree Terry. The headbutt incident was suspect. I also agree with the use of technology as far as possible. Then both the Stormers and Sharks will be lucky to finish a game with 10 players on the field, with all the red cards and all.

  • Jason - 2011-06-07 16:20

    Just bitter supporters... as for the bulls supporters complaining get rid of stegman its not the refs fault he is crap...

  • Neo - 2011-06-07 16:25

    The point is that refs get away with murder whils players are yellow/red carded.... should have a similar system for refs!

  • BOKLDN - 2011-06-07 16:27

    I think the SA refs really don't try and ref with favouritism. I think sometimes, they get very frustrated with other refereeing perfomances and try get back a little - Joubert last year when he sent off an Aussie vs NZ after the Boks had been violently reffed out of 3 games - but that doesn't work. The actual answer is for the SA teams just to have impeccable disclipine. The kiwis and aussies love to throw a punch but they are numpties so let them do that. We can take these guys if we just get a fair contest. It is difficult to get that from anything other than a French or Scottish ref so they must just deal with each decision, not take it personally and move on. Then the boks will be very difficult to beat, even if Wayne Barnes is in charge.

  • Rumbler - 2011-06-07 16:28

    There is little doubt in my mind that South African refs over react to incidents by SA teams to show overseas players and viewers that they are neutral and fair. I strongly support neutral refs handling Super Rugby and Test matches!

      Neo - 2011-06-07 17:02

      Sad but true!!!

  • Kok - 2011-06-07 16:30

    Please. These SA refs are terrible!!!

  • Arthur - 2011-06-07 16:36

    just a question how many of you would site the if you could if ref was on your side and made all the bad decissions against the opposition, would you still want to punish him evan if he won the game for you?

  • John - 2011-06-07 16:37

    The Sharks / Cheetahs result meant nothing to me because I am a Stormer but I sat watching in disbelief at the way the Cheetahs got shafted. This is also not the 1st game I have watched where Jonker has simply given a side absolutely no chance of winning a game from minute 1. Poor poor ref.

      Vuil Frikkie - 2011-06-07 17:00

      You see John, you being a Breezer supporter does not mean that you are a shining example of someone that is impartial................Fact is you Breezer supporters just rooted for the OTHER team because you are sh%%&ting yourself that the ever popular WP CHOKE is going to happen and then another SA team will top the table. All of a sudden everyone in the country is a closet CHEATER supporter. Justice for all the times the Sharks got the short end of the stick!!

  • ChrisG - 2011-06-07 16:45

    Come on Lloyd, I've seen you post that same line 3 times in the past week. Time for you and the bulls to up your game.

      Lloyd - 2011-06-07 16:51

      It's true, is it not?

      Zip23 - 2011-06-07 17:06

      Whats up with this ChrisG american rising rap star with his PW groot krokodil fingers?

  • ZACommentator - 2011-06-07 17:15

    There are no such things as neutral referees, they may be 'neutral' by the country they come from but not by action

  • Claude - 2011-06-07 20:15

    It all depends on what you call a neutral Referee - an Aussie ref when SA plays New Zealand is not neutral nor is a NZ ref wen SA plays Australia. By the same token an SA Ref when Australia and New Zealand meet is not neutral either especially if these matches are part of Super Rugby. What we need is a Professional Refereeing Team from which ever country that they come that can use technology when it is called for. I don't want to get too revolutionary but maybe even a referral system, to the TV

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