Referees are favouring New Zealand, says Stuart Barnes

Referees are favouring New Zealand, says Stuart Barnes

I felt bruised just watching the New Zealand versus South Africa clash from my living room in Wiltshire.

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Comments (32)

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Richie Burnett says...

Hi Stuart I couldn't agree more with your comments this week. The officials were a disgrace to the game and the SA team should be making a full report to the IRB pointing out where the games was really won and lost. As great as the ABs are they are clearly getting some help these days.i had thought that we went for the TMO just to avoid these kind of mistakes but where do we go from here?

Posted 09:24 17th September 2013

Bob Dylan says...

I am glad somebody has the guts to mention the gigantic elephant in the Rugby Union room at present. The All Blacks are undoubtedly a great side but it is more than just the rub of the green that they enjoy. They cheat consistently and even professional fouls by their players go unpunished on a regular basis. When will referees stop pandering to the black jersey and, more importantly, why do they not blow fairly in games involving the ABs? Are they simply intimidated by the inevitable backlash from NZ media? We need this issue looked at if Union is to flourish as a global game.

Posted 09:18 17th September 2013

Kevin Mitchell says...

In past tri nations McCaw received 2 black eyes from South Africa no punishment and against the Aussies was penalised for being too quick to get to his feet after a tackle or even the Cooperfore arm to the head .Things are missed good or bad but remember the Rugby Club did a piece on Nathan Hines praising him up but blocking and dangerously grabing legs to stop people to help team mates if that had happened on Saturday what would you be saying cleaver to get away with it or is the ref blind. Just remember for all that was wrong on Saturday there are things wrong in the north that you regularly miss as well

Posted 08:58 17th September 2013

Justin Hoar says...

Brilliant article, and I agree completely. This phenomenon is even creeping into the Super Rugby competition at times. I had a few thoughts, and be would be interested in your thoughts. I believe referees should answer to and be reviewed by an independent, non-IRB board of analysts, that are not their peers, as there is there is the possibility of nepotism or other such human traits. Players are subject to harsh punishments if their is an indiscretion on the field (intentional or otherwise), however there is an impression I get that referees are treated with a lot more leniency, unless there is vast public outcry as in the case with Bryce Lawrence. It almost gives the impression that they have a much higher job security than the average person, and less responsibility when it comes to making mistakes. And even after the Bryce Lawrence incident and the IRB appointing a board of reviewers, I still feel that the level of refereeing throughout the world is less than good. Don't get me wrong, I do believe there are good referees, but I do feel that are overshadowed by the inconsistencies and "bias" that plague the institution. I also just seem to get the impression that not a lot will be achieved in a timely manner when it comes to cases like Bryce Lawrence and Ramoin Poite as the IRB has seemed to be very lazy in both cases. Even with the vast outcry by professionals from all over the world such as yourself, do you think the IRB will be a bit more steadfast and take more action to try restore the integrity of rugby, or is this an uphill battle? I understand that every referee is prone to human error, but it feels a bit like a slap in the face when the IRB came out and said that Poite's performance was due to this, whereas Nick Mallett rightly said, that the error was not to use all the resources available to him such as sideline refs and TMO technology. Do you finds refs to be apprehensive to use the TMO technology?

Posted 08:30 17th September 2013

Jonathan Youngleson says...

When the referee makes such obviously poor decisions that directly affect and even reverse the flow of a game and in this case possibly the entire tournament, it brings into question the honesty and integrity of the sport. As paying fans are we being led to wasting our money on rigged games? Sometimes we invest large sums to travel across the globe, paying for expensive gate fees, only to be taken for a ride. No fan likes their team to lose, but when the team loses for playing the game well due to incompetent referees - well we simply stay away next time. I sincerely hope the Rugby Union bosses take note of our anger and disappointment in this regard, and take a closer look into the finances of the referees, who look like they are on the take!

Posted 06:33 17th September 2013

Jeremy Carr says...

One of the "facts" doing the rounds over here is that the Boks get a yellow card at a rate of every 6 penalties, Australia every 7 penalties and the AB's have to commit 43 penalties to earn a yellow. Im simply too lazy to check whether its true or not but it fuels my chagrin to a satisfactory level after yet another defeat to the kiwis. I do know that if Butch James committed a similar shoulder charge that Nonu did he would have been cited. Of course when it comes to Nonu referees argue that his shoulder is part of his arm.

Posted 05:12 17th September 2013

James Marshall says...

What a short and selective memory you have Stuart - that's a shame when you are normally much more balanced than the typical whingers up North. Even discounting the horror performance from Wayne Barnes in 2007 there have been many times since then when the ABs have been unjustly treated by referees. The fact that they still win most of their games is just further proof of their greatness. No one in NZ (well almost) is saying the Frenchie did a good job...but it's hilarious to hear the South Africans of all people complain about dodgy refs.

Posted 04:33 17th September 2013

J Bok says...

The whole thing stinks of corruption! NZRU needs to be investigated for corruption. They've had refs in their backpockets for too long now! The ABs get away with murder during most matches. They are always subject to leniency. Poite quite clearly had a hidden agenda especially after he failed to penalise any ABs for starting that brawl after the Carter tackle. The IRB needs to take action here. Poite must never ever referee again. And why did Bryce Lawrence retire shortly after the RWC? Why was there no enquiry into Jaco Peyper's performance after the RWC final? The corruption stinks to high heaven and it seems clear to me that the IRB are the ring masters!

Posted 04:29 17th September 2013

James Kemp says...

The article comes across as what it is - a very opinionated piece. No one can argue that the first yellow card should have been given but it wouldn't have been an issue if Du Plessis hadn't decided to throw an elbow to the throat and give the referee no choice about the red. Only 1 in 5 times it's a yellow?! Maybe only because the other 4 times the referee doesn't spot it. An elbow to the throat is even illegal in the UFC. As for bias towards the All Blacks, the penalty count was 14 vs 8 in favour of the South Africans, and after watching the Kieran Read yellow card many times, that is not even a penalty let alone a yellow card. Let's leave the conspiracy theories out of what was a superb and brutal test match.

Posted 03:06 17th September 2013

Muzikayise Buthelezi says...

Great article Mr. Barnes. Its really sad that such an amazing match was messed up by the Referee. It could have been a memorable match indeed. NZ are a great side, but this makes it very difficult for other teams to compete against them if Referees always take their side. I think it should be the other way around, the other teams should be getting the 50/50 calls instead of NZ, this will truly test them (NZ). anyway i think the boks will beat the Aussies at home, then will wait for the Ellis Park re-match against NZ.

Posted 17:04 16th September 2013

Craig Emmerich says...

Hi Stuart, Always a joy reading your and Tony Johnson from New Zealands' reviews. As a proud Springbok supporter, this weekend was a little tough. It is even tougher when you are a denied what would surely have been a rugby spectacle to remember, not by quality opposition, but by the ref. Which brings me to my question, with The IRB wanting to make Rugby Union a more global game, how then are we, as the public, continually made to swallow officiating, governed by The IRB, that is so different from hemisphere to hemisphere and referee to referee? One would think that rules would be implemented as asked for by The IRB, and that The IRB would strive to maintain consistency across the planet. Do you think the constant rule changes, especially at scrum and breakdown, are making it that much harder? Because, to be honest, the players seem to adapt more easily the officials?

Posted 14:27 16th September 2013

Ernst Van der merwe says...

Hi Stuart...I have never seen such an objective and factual article than your comments on the referee's performance in NZ vs SA. Congratulations....you seem to be a true professional. I can tell you, the sports commentators and Rugby fans in South Africa were appalled at the way the game was handled. Right at the start of the game it was evident that the Boks were scrumming the AB's backwards and a later mall on 10 metres from the line ended in a try. Would it not have been a memorable game between the two best teams in the world ? Frankly we are loosing interest in the game in SA because we were also blown out of the last world cup by Bruce Lawrence ! I just dont understand why ref's like to victimise our boks. I for one must watch golf and tennis...not rugby...because it has become farce !

Posted 13:17 16th September 2013

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