SANZAR to probe ref-bashing

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:20
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SANZAR have warned coaches that taking unnecessary pot-shots at referees could land them in hot water. Jan de Koning reports.

SANZAR have warned coaches that taking unnecessary pot-shots at referees could land them in hot water.

New Zealand referee Chris Pollock has been axed from the Super Rugby play-offs, because of poor form.

The decision to drop the Kiwi down the pecking order comes in the wake of a growing chorus of outcries against the declining standards of refereeing.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, Blues coach John Kirwan and Waratahs mentor Michael Cheika all criticised referees at the weekend.

SANZAR Chief Executive Greg Peters, in an exclusive interview with this website, confirmed that they will not tolerate abusive behaviour towards match officials.

"We are looking at those at present and considering them," when asked if there had been any complaints about all the coaches having a go at referees.

"Ultimately we don't want to stifle debate on the game," Peters told this website.

"There is no problem with a genuinely held belief that a decision [made by a referee] was wrong, [when] using temperate language.

"However, if it goes to questioning the integrity of the referee or is abusive or insulting [language] that is when it is of more concern to us."

Coetzee, in his post-season assessment after the team's 30-13 victory over he Bulls at Newlands at the weekend, pulled no punches - despite his team already having being fined once this season in a stand-off with officialdom.

Coetzee said he felt there were two matches in which questionable calls from match official cost his team - defeats which ultimately cost them a place in the Super Rugby play-offs.

The Stormers coach's verbal barrage against match officials came on a weekend which also saw Kirwan and Cheika  launch scathing attacks on referees.

An incensed Kirwan demanded referee Chris Pollock be held accountable for his ruling in a red-card controversy which he said ruined their Super Rugby match against the Chiefs at the weekend.

And Cheika has joined his colleagues in taking aim at the poor standard of refereeing in Super Rugby, suggesting they are turning the game into 'touch rugby' - with Steve Walsh the target of his scolding.

Earlier in the season former All Black coach Graham Henry, who is now a Blues assistant coach, was let off with a reprimand and an agreement to issue a public apology - having labelled fellow Kiwi Keith Brown a "blind TMO".

The growing number of coaches crying out against referees and other match officials suggest the problem needs to be addressed urgently.

The axing of Pollock, New Zealand's No.1 referee, will be seen as a step in the right direction.

But Peters warned coaches that there is a fine line between acceptable criticism and abusive behaviour.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19