SANZAAR justifies non-neutral Peyper selection
Cape Town - South
Africa's Jaco Peyper was on Tuesday named as referee for the Super Rugby
final as officials shrugged off calls for a neutral whistle-blower and a
yellow-card controversy in the semis.
Governing body SANZAAR said Peyper's appointment was purely
"merit-based" after putting him in charge of Saturday's final between the Lions and Crusaders in
"The selection criteria for all match official appointments for the
last two years follows a clear tournament policy... that such
appointments be merit-based," SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said in a
He added that New Zealand's Glen Jackson refereed last year's final
between the Lions and the Hurricanes in Wellington, when the home team
lifted the trophy.
Some experts have questioned the wisdom of using referees from the
same country as one of the teams involved, with Crusaders coach Scott
Robertson among those calling for the "best neutral ref".
"I'd love a neutral referee," he told New Zealand's Radio Sport.
"Look it's not my decision, but in my opinion it's more around what's
best for the game.
"Let's get the best neutral ref, I just think it's fair."
Peyper was also at the centre of controversy last week when he
sin-binned Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett at a key stage of their
semi-final against the Lions in Johannesburg.
Replays suggested the punishment was harsh but the Lions took full
advantage, scoring 17 points to seize the lead while Barrett was off the
field in the second half.
"It was a pretty tough decision against Beauden," former Springboks coach Nick Mallett said on SuperSport TV at the time.
On Saturday, Peyper will have fellow South African Marius van der
Westhuizen and New Zealander Glen Jackson as his assistants, while South
Africa's Marius Jonker is the television match official.