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    Crusaders coach: Peyper is our 'No 1'

    2017-08-03 16:48

    Lloyd Burnard - Johannesburg

    Johannesburg - Much of the build-up to this weekend's Super Rugby final between the Lions and the Crusaders has centred around the appointment of Jaco Peyper as the referee. 

    New Zealand media, in particular, have voiced their disappointment in SANZAAR's decision to give the 37-year-old South African the final in front of what is expected to be 62 000 Lions fans. 

    Peyper was in charge when the Chiefs beat the Stormers at Newlands in this year's quarter-final and he also blew last weekend's semi-final when the Lions stunned the Hurricanes in Johannesburg. 

    In that match, Peyper was involved in a highly controversial moment when he sin-binned Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett for what he deemed to be a professional foul. 

    While Barrett was off the field, the Lions scored 17 points to surge into the lead, and that decision has surely contributed to the feeling of injustice coming out of New Zealand. 

    But Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, when asked about the attention surrounding Peyper, revealed that the Crusaders management considered him the best in the competition. 

    "Jaco is a quality ref. We were asked to rank our refs before this finals series (Super Rugby playoffs) and who would be No 1, and we said Jaco," Robertson said.

    "He deserves it on that alone.

    "SANZAAR appoint the best ref and we trust their selection policy."

    While Robertson clearly backs Peyper's ability, he knows that Saturday will provide the referee with a daunting task. 

    "Jaco is experienced and he's resilient," said Robertson.

    "With the nature that this is, reffing in front of his homeland country, you have to have a resilient ref who refs what's in front of him.

    "He has to take the emotion out of it ... so we can't ask for more than someone like Jaco who has got those capabilities."

    In last year's Super Rugby final, Kiwi referee Glen Jackson officiated the match between the Lions and the Hurricanes in Wellington. 

    On Saturday, Jackson will be one of the touchline officials. 

    Kick-off is at 16:00.

    Follow Sport24 journalist @LloydBurnard on Twitter...

    Teams:

    Lions

    15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen

    Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

    Crusaders

    15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

    Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 George Bridge

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