SA reacts to Rassie Erasmus' explosive social media videos ‘exposing’ alleged inconsistencies
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has tongues wagging on social media, after the release of his video where he “exposed” alleged bias in the first Test between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions.
In an hour-long video released on Thursday, Erasmus criticised Australian referee Nic Berry's refereeing skills during the match.
The video contained highlights clips from the game, which Erasmus claimed show errors by Berry, including inconsistency in the length of advantage played and breakdown rulings.
The video comes after Springboks lost the first Test by 22-17.
Erasmus accused Berry of treating captain Siya Kolisi differently to his British & Irish Lions counterpart Alun Wyn Jones, saying Berry paid more attention to Jones.
“There was a vast difference between who he was taking serious and who he wasn’t taking serious,” Erasmus said.
Erasmus said he had put together the video as an individual, not on behalf of the SA Rugby Union.
“I have previous encounters where I’ve made mistakes, saying things in public about referees and that normally comes back to bite you, but in this instance, the Lions only comes around every 12 years,” said Erasmus.
“And I think it should be fair that I’ll step away from these last two Test matches, but let the Springboks and the Lions have an equal chance on the field when it comes to laws, respect and the way that players get treated.”
Erasmus said he was willing to step aside if that meant the last two Tests in the series between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions would be officiated fairly.
“If you guys request that I’m not involved further with this Test match, no problem. If you request that I’m not a water carrier, no problem.
“If you think this was going over the top and this shouldn’t go out to the media, then I did this in my personal capacity, not as part of the Springboks and I will withdraw myself as part of the Springbok management team,” he said in closing.
The video saw Erasmus topping social media's trending list and garnered mixed reactions.
While some said he was out of line, others defended Erasmus, saying something like it has been coming and the video might be a “historic game-changer for how referees and world rugby approach the law” going forward.
Here is a snapshot of people had to say.
It is obviously extreme but something like Rassie Erasmus' video has been coming.— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) July 29, 2021
There has been a very consistent discontent within professional coaching circles for years now about the standard of officiating and the feedback provided.
Rassie Erasmus pretty much said to Gatland with this video:— Dylan Jack (@dylmjack) July 29, 2021
"You wanna use the media to influence the referees. That's fine. I can play that game too."
This video by Erasmus might well be historic game changer for how Referees and World Rugby approach the law interpretation and enforcement going forward. Too many glaring mistakes in one game of rugby.— Philasande Sixaba (@psixaba) July 29, 2021
Everything Erasmus highlights in that video has been a "focus" of referees in the Premiership at some point in the last season.— SPK (@spkeene) July 29, 2021
The disparity of respect points generally are more stark in T1 v T2 matches, but can affect matches at any level.
One thing the Erasmus video does highlight is how bang on Gatland was getting AWJ back into the squad now he's back fit. He won the captains battle in a few of the clips he shows— Ricky Harries (@RickyHarries) July 29, 2021
This Rassie Erasmus video - nothing in there explains why the Boks lost.— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) July 29, 2021
They lost because in a dominant 1st half they didn't score a try; the front row gamble didn't work; they lost the collision and aeriel battles in the 2nd half and the Lions finished stronger.
Rassie's post-match video of 26 clips where he exposes last Saturday's referee's "mind-baffling" inconsistencies is not only brilliant, it needs to become an institution. We'll learn rugby rules and referees will concentrate better. You go, Rassie! pic.twitter.com/FCFggr4Eqd— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) July 29, 2021
Always admired Rassie Erasmus in any category, but the sooner he grasps that the Lions won the First Test and that marginal refereeing decisions are a fact of life, the better. I note Warren Gatland did not produce clips of Second Test in 2009, where the injustices were gross.— Stephen Jones (@stephenjones9) July 29, 2021
There's actually no comparison between what Rassie did this week, and Gatland last week. Rassie highlighted incidents and issues in a game that's already taken place. Gatland implied bias and questioned the integrity of an official before the game even kicked off.— Jade Manasse 🔰 (@Jade_Manasse) July 29, 2021