Mallett questions Newlands officials after 'poor' penalty miss
Cape Town - SuperSport pundit Nick Mallett, along with several of his fellow analysts, have hit out at the officials in the Stormers v Lions Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Saturday.
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Referee Egon Seconds made a series of decisions throughout the match which baffled both sides - and the reported 14 831 spectators who turned up - in a clash which dragged on - and on - to the 87th minute.
Referring to one particular incident late in the match, which, in Mallett's opinion had an impact on the outcome of the match, the former Springbok coach said post-match: ‘(Malcolm) Marx goes in and he has got a hand on the ball. Look at the positioning of (referee) Egon Seconds. He can’t see that, but the touch judge can see it. Why isn’t the assistant referee saying penalty to the Lions? Marx gets over the ball, everyone else is on the ground so he has a right to play the ball and he holds onto it for six seconds without earning a penalty.
‘There are two issues there. First of all, very poor positioning from Seconds. The Stormers get a penalty as opposed to the Lions. If the Lions get a penalty they clear and end the game in the Stormers’ half. The second thing is what is the assistant referee doing to assist the referee? It is bang in front of him. Why can’t he say penalty to the Lions?
‘It is just outside the 22. If the Lions get the penalty they deserve, a left-footed kicker would take it into the Stormers half. The time I think is about 77 minutes. The whole end of the game would have been different.
‘It is absolutely crucial that referees get those things right because for a Lions supporter it must be very, very difficult sitting and having to digest this loss, which they didn’t deserve.
The assistant referee, who was no more than a few metres away from the incident, was little-known Divan Uys.
Uys' fellow assistant referee, Aimee Barrett-Theron, was regularly used by Seconds to adjudicate at scrum-time in particular, suggesting penalties to the Stormers for 'hinging' and a 'knee on the ground' on at least two occasions.
The Lions, who had lead the match throughout, conceded a converted try deep into injury time to hand their Cape opponents an unlikely 19-17 victory.
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