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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Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
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Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Lions v Sharks 26 | 19
Leinster v Scarlets 20 | 13
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0