Peter de Villiers hints at refereeing conspiracy
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has suggested there may be a refereeing conspiracy taking place at this year’s Tri Nations.
De Villiers, whose team suffered two defeats to the All Blacks in the opening fixtures of this year’s tournament, has hinted at the possibility of bias towards the New Zealand side.
“I’ve got my own observations about the last two Tests, and I can’t say it in public,” de Villiers told Australia’s Rugby Club television programme.
“But we do have a World Cup in New Zealand next year, and maybe it was the right thing for them to win the games so they can attract more people to the games next year.”
The comments come after de Villiers saw two of his players sin-binned and cited in consecutive weeks.
Lock Bakkies Botha received a nine-week suspension for a head butt, while Jean de Villiers was handed a two-week ban for a dangerous tackle on Rene Ranger.
It was latter decision which sparked the most controversy as it was Ranger who was deemed not to be guilty for what looked like a rather dangerous tackle himself.
The alleged inconsistencies in the officiating are to be taken up by the SARU representative of SANZAR according to SARU president Oregan Hoskins.
“On the judicial side, I have asked Judge Mpati to take it up,” Hoskins said. “A number of stakeholders have complained to me about the lack of consistency in the rulings of the judicial officials in rugby.”
De Villiers was quick to issue a statement on Friday to play down the significance of what was said.
“In no manner did I ever suggest that the All Blacks were being favoured – by match officials or anyone else – because their country was hosting the Rugby World Cup next year,” de Villiers said.
“I have stated many times during the past weeks that the All Blacks were better than us in their victories in Auckland and Wellington. Whilst I have also expressed unhappiness over some refereeing issues, this is a separate matter altogether and has no bearing on what I said.”