Jaco Peyper to referee Super Rugby final between Lions and Crusaders
Last Updated: 02/08/17 10:15am
South Africa's Jaco Peyper has been named as referee for Saturday's Super Rugby final as officials shrugged off calls for a neutral whistle-blower and a yellow-card controversy in the semis.
Governing body SANZAAR said Peyper's appointment was purely "merit-based" after putting him in charge of Saturday's final between the Lions and Crusaders in Johannesburg, live on Sky Sports Mix (Channel 121 on your Sky box) from 2.30pm.
"This merit-based policy was reflected with the appointment last year of New Zealand official Glen Jackson to referee the Hurricanes versus Lions final in Wellington [in 2016]," SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.
"SANZAAR stands behind the policy and believes the best referees should be available to officiate the best matches."
Some experts have questioned the wisdom of using referees from the same country as one of the teams involved, with Crusaders coach Scott Robertson among those calling for the "best neutral ref".
"I'd love a neutral referee," he told Radio Sport. "Look it's not my decision, but in my opinion it's more around what's best for the game.
"Let's get the best neutral ref, I just think it's fair."
Peyper was at the centre of controversy last week when he sin-binned Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett at a key stage of their semi-final against the Lions in Johannesburg.
Replays suggested the punishment was harsh but the Lions took full advantage, scoring 17 points to seize the lead while Barrett was off the field in the second half.
On Saturday, Peyper will have fellow South African Marius van der Westhuizen and New Zealander Glen Jackson as his assistants, while South Africa's Marius Jonker is the television match official.