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

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10