The update to the story can be found at the bottom of the page…
Every time I am excited to watch a game of rugby and I see Romain Poite pop up on screen as the ref, my heart sinks.
He really must be one of the world’s most pedantic referees, and he seems unaware of the fact that fans would rather see a game that flows, as opposed to a constant stop-start battle governed by the whistle.
Poite is also the ref that sent off Bismarck du Plessis against the All Blacks in 2013, and he butchered the ending of the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand when he reversed a penalty call in the third and final test, causing huge controversy.
Given that the Boks won against the Scots on Saturday night, coming out tops in a hard-fought 26-20 battle, the post-mortems of the ref’s performance here at home are a little less vigorous.
There’s already been much said about Willie le Roux’s yellow card. SuperSport’s commentary team was up in arms, and the folks over at the BBC were also somewhat bemused:
Here’s the thing – we should probably keep the moaning to a minimum, given that our skipper looks to have got away with a solid headbutt with half an hour on the clock.
Poite loves to throw a card or two around, and had he seen it, it’s almost certain that he would have handed Siya a straight red:
As someone piped up, the spirit of Bakkies Botha is alive and well:
— Graham Love (@GLove39) November 17, 2018
I love Siya Kolisi, and the story of his rise to the top has Hollywood written all over it, but that’s a dirty headbutt. He may have been held on the ground by Peter Horne, but the law doesn’t look kindly on those who retaliate with a backwards headbutt.
With Poite having missed it, attention turned towards the response from World Rugby. Here’s Sport24:
…Kolisi has escaped sanction for what appears to be a blatant headbutt against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday…
According to World Rugby’s citing policy, the Citing Commissioner has 24 hours after the final whistle in which to cite any incidents – which would’ve been around 21:00 on Sunday.
Rassie Erasmus was quick to defend his skipper:
“I really haven’t seen it…I can’t comment on something I didn’t see myself, but I know the person and the man he is, so it would surprise me.
“I’m pretty sure the citing commissioner will do his job there. Whatever it is – if it’s serious and Siya’s in the wrong, then what comes our way we have to accept. But I haven’t seen the incident so I can’t really comment.”
In case you missed the match, we’ll finish with a look at the highlights:
Oh, and how about the Irish beating the All Blacks? Looks like that aura of invincibility is rapidly fading:
UPDATE via Sport24:
Kolisi has received a citing commissioner warning from World Rugby after striking a Scotland player with his head in last Saturday’s Test in Edinburgh…
World Rugby announced on Monday that Kolisi’s action did not warrant a red card.
A statement released by the rugby governing body reads as follows:
“Siya Kolisi (South Africa) has received a Citing Commissioner Warning from Citing Commissioner David Pelton (USA) for striking with the head (Law 9.12) during the 31st minute of the Scotland versus South Africa November test at Murrayfield on 17 November.
“Having reviewed the video angles, the Citing Commissioner determined that there were mitigating factors which meant that the action did not meet the red card threshold, including the player being illegally prevented from re-joining the play by Scotland’s Peter Horne and the moderate force of the strike to the side of the head. The match officials did not see the incident at the time on the field of play.
“Under World Rugby Regulation 17, a Citing Commissioner Warning is issued for offences falling just short of a RC and, or similarly to cards, will form part of the player’s disciplinary record.
I reckon he got off lightly, but that’s fine by me.
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