Why Boks will make sure they are on ref Jérôme Garcès' good side

Referee Jerome Garces gestures during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on September 21, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
Referee Jerome Garces gestures during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on September 21, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The last time the Springboks played in Yokohama‚ they lost 23-13 to the All Blacks.

That was at the start of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) and it helped set the tone for the remainder of the tournament.

The Boks return to Yokohama this Sunday for a clash against Wales in the semi-finals and in Jérôme Garcès they will have the same referee who gave them food for thought if not a bitter taste in the mouth.

“I don’t want to dwell on that game‚” Bok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick exasperated on Wednesday.

“There were a couple of things that we had question marks about in that game.

“There is a channel of communication between our head coach Rassie (Erasmus) and the selectors of the refs at World Rugby‚ and their manager. We respect those channels.”

The Boks may have made their feelings clear but they had no joy when World Rugby announce their appointment for the semi-finals.

"It is rather peculiar that in the 14 Test Garcès has refereed the Springboks they’ve won just four.

“Our job is to make sure our players are ready‚ and that they are on the good side of the refs on the day‚” stressed Stick.

“When it comes to World Rugby at the World Cup‚ they have high standards. So‚ the top two refs in the play-offs - we believe they are the best refs to manage the semi-finals.

“We are just focusing on being on the good side on the day. Discipline is a big thing for us‚ and the only yellow card we’ve received was ‘Beast’ (Tendai Mtawarira) against Japan.

“He is just an aggressive person – it’s not like Beast was trying to cheat the game or doing anything illegal. It was a matter of half-a-second where he was going for an aggressive tackle.

“When it comes to Jérôme Garcès‚ he is one of the best refs at the moment. The fact that he has been given a semi-final‚ we might also see him in the final‚ as France are out of the competition.

“We respect him as a ref‚ and will try to make sure we are on his good side‚ and let him do his job.”

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X