Home Sport WATCH: Contrary to popular belief …Rassie Erasmus ‘not having a go at...

WATCH: Contrary to popular belief …Rassie Erasmus ‘not having a go at referees’ with Twitter videos

WATCH: Contrary to popular belief …Rassie Erasmus ‘not having a go at referees’ with Twitter videos

Durban — Rassie Erasmus joined coach Jacques Nienaber at the Boks’ team announcement press conference yesterday and, predictably, he drew much of the attention because of his perceived war on referees.

Except Rassie doesn’t see it like that, of course, and says the public are attaching their own interpretations and narratives to his ‘innocent” clips of passages of play.

Earlier in the day, Erasmus had been heavily criticised by former World No 1 referee Nigel Owens, who said the SA Director of Rugby was bringing the game into disrepute.

In New Zealand, they would say Rassie is playing “ducks and drakes” with his play on words and concealed messages in that he doesn’t directly have a go at poor refereeing decisions but the subtext is there …

Still, Erasmus insisted that he is simply helping South African supporters understand what happens on the rugby field.

“People form their opinions and I understand that,” said Erasmus. “We’ve always been really close to fans. If you go and look at the tweets, it’s actually for South African fans to understand that there is something that some guys are doing really well, which we don’t understand.”

Erasmus explained some of his clips, including one about Cheslin Kolbe needing to adjust his tackling technique.

He also alluded to Willie le Roux’s long pass in the French game that was incorrectly adjudged forward but Erasmus said fans must realise that sometimes there is an “optical illusion”.

“If you go and read the tweets, people immediately attach something to the narrative they want to put out there.

“I don’t tag people or say it’s the referees. I don’t say anything like that. I’m saying that these are the things that we must fix. If someone doesn’t want to see that, unfollow me, mute me, but surely there are South African supporters who would like to know where we are going and where we are getting it right and wrong.

“It’s not having a go at the referee. I don’t think Wayne Barnes would ever make bad decisions. He is the No 1 referee in the world, the most experienced referee in the world. It’s obviously something on our side that we have to fix. If people put their own narrative to it, I can’t control that.”

"It's obviously something on our side we need to fix. I just want supporters to understand that. If people put a narrative to that, I can't control it."

That is classic Rassie for you! All innocent charm but the innuendo is there …

The big talking point from the Boks’ 30-26 defeat to France was a double movement in the late try scored by Sipili Falatea, which Barnes allowed and which, strangely, he could not refer to the TMNO because their communication link had disappeared.

"If you read the tweets (about that incident), people immediately adjust something to the narrative they want to put out there,” Erasmus insisted. “Even in that tweet where we noted that the TMO's link was offline, I still won’t believe that Wayne Barnes would let that go and just say the TMO isn't available.

“I just wouldn't believe that from him. That's why we have no qualms,” said Erasmus.

South Africa starting XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (capt), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Evan Roos, 22 Cobus Reinach, 23 Manie Libbok.

Original Article