Referees need to get the decision right

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 08:18

EXCLUSIVE: Former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan has called on the current crop to stop trying to be amicable to both teams, instead they should focus on getting their decisions right.

Kaplan airs his gripes from the 20th minute!

Kaplan made reference to Jaco Peyper's performance when the Sharks hosted the Waratahs in Round Three of Super Rugby.

"One of the things that worry me is that if a team infringes three times in the scoring zone and you only warn a player. Why is the onus on the attacking team to create another opportunity when you [the referee] are so clear that there have been three infringements. 

"That does not make sense, it does not gel with me, there should be a yellow card to discourage [that] behaviour.

"Never mind 14 on 15, stop worrying about that. And stop worrying about trying to be amicable to both [teams], get the decision right and make sure that they don't cheat," Kaplan said.

Player safety has been a big focus point of World Rugby recently, especially at ruck time but Kaplan still feels aggrieved that some of the top referees are not policing that area properly. 

"There has been a big drive for player safety. We agree that when we look at a game, we want the players to be protected but it can't be over-sanitised, it has to be applied consistently. 

"If they give the referees a mandate to say that if a player tucks his arm and makes contact in that motion, and that is deemed to be yellow, then give it. But give it 98 percent of the time because what is happening is that players are hitting rucks with the arm tucked under and nothing is happening.

"There is a very highly rated New Zealand referee, who refereed the Chiefs-Crusaders in Round One [of Super Rugby], and there were some vicious clean outs happening. Definitely, arms tucked and nothing - not even penalties - nothing happened at all," he added.

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