Wakefield escapes with slap on the wrist

    2016-04-19 08:57

    Cape Town - There will be no formal sanction against Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield following his refereeing rant this past weekend.

    Wakefield was upset with the way Stuart Berry refereed the Lions v Stormers Super Rugby match in Johannesburg this past weekend.

    The Lions won an epic encounter 29-22 but it appears the Stormers were not happy with Berry’s performance, especially his policing of the breakdown area.

    Wakefield took to Facebook after the game, expressing his disappointment: "I really cannot describe the atmosphere in the change room. Sadness. Disappointment, Robbed!!! We remain gracious in defeat. I have never felt so sad. Have good night’s rest ‘Man in the middle’.”

    Then, in an interview with the Cape Times on Sunday, Wakefield said referees should be made more accountable for their actions. He said referees are "better protected than the rhino".

    Despite his rant, Wakefield has escaped any formal punishment from SANZAAR.

    He will, however, receive a call from SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos, Rugby365 reports.

    Marinos told the rugby specialist website that SANZAAR was aware of comments made by Wakefield but is “satisfied that the integrity of the match official has not been directly attacked in this instance."

    Marinos said he will raise the issue with Wakefield to remind him that care must be taken when commenting on the performance of match officials.

    Wakefield, who was previously the Stormers and WP team manager and then deputy president of the WP Rugby union, was first elected as president in 2012.

    In December last year he was re-elected unopposed at the union’s 24th annual general council meeting.

    He will serve in his final term for the next three years.



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