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    Kwagga shies away from blaming ref for Newlands loss

    2019-02-27 12:30

    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Johannesburg - With all the noise surrounding the performance of referee Egon Seconds in the Stormers' win over the Lions on the weekend, the Johannesburg franchise's flanker Kwagga Smith finally put some sense into the argument by telling SuperSport.com: "We should have never been in that position."

    There has been a massive debate in rugby circles about a penalty being awarded to the Stormers in the dying minutes of the game when it looked as if Malcolm Marx had stolen the ball, but despite all the bleating, the result stands and Smith simply wants to move on.

    He had some sage advice for those who feel the Lions were hard done by and shows a maturity in the side as they look ahead, and not backwards in the tough tournament they are in.

    "I think it is always frustrating when a call goes against you but for us we never should have been in that situation. We should have been in our half playing our brand of rugby, scoring tries," Smith said.

    "We shouldn’t have been in that position to make one call that the ref may have misjudged and it cost us the game, we never should have been in that position."

    Smith said his team-mates had accepted that they weren’t at their best in the second half and they brought some of their misfortune on themselves with a lack of discipline.

    "Definitely I think we are disappointed we didn't close the game up. The Stormers did well at the end but we lacked discipline and we gave a lot of penalties away in the second half and that gave them momentum. If they get penalties they get another chance and another chance. I definitely think we could have closed the game out easily, there were a lot of opportunities, we had the ball with a minute and 10 seconds left.

    "We could have kept the ball, and if we can do it out of our 22, then why can't we do it in our 22. We could have done that, there was a bit of poor decision-making from all of us, so it is something to learn from and something to take forward.

    "Luckily it happened early on in the season for us, so we can build on that and learn from that when there is next an opportunity for us like that when it is a close game - maybe a must win game - so then we know what to do."

    Smith said while he wasn't in Argentina, it did seem as if the travel affected his team late in the game.

    "It is difficult for me to judge, because I wasn't in Argentina so I can’t say. I think we slacked down and definitely we gave away eight or nine penalties in the second half and that is too much. For us it is going back to discipline, because you can’t give away silly penalties, because that gives teams opportunities."

    But on Saturday when they face the Bulls, they know they have a strong record against their northern neighbours of late and he wants to keep it that way.

    "For us, we definitely want to keep it that way, for teams to know if they come to Ellis Park it is not easy to win here, you are not just going to do what you want to do here. For us this is our home ground and we want to be our best at home."

    The Lions will name their side on Thursday for the clash, which kicks off at 15:05 on Saturday.

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    Friday, 29 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Sunwolves, McDonald Jones Stadium 10:45
    Saturday, 30 March 2019
    • Blues v Stormers, Eden Park 08:35
    • Reds v Rebels, Suncorp Stadium 10:45
    • Sharks v Bulls, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 15:05
    • Jaguares v Chiefs, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
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    • Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    • Reds v Stormers, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airline Park 19:10

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