Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
30 Jul 2018
2:40 pm

Swys: Sneaky Crusaders push their luck … and get away with it

Heinz Schenk

The Lions coach is going to have a long chat with the referees before Saturday's Super Rugby final to ensure both teams get a 'fair deal'.

Swys de Bruin. Photo: Gallo Images.

Lions coach Swys de Bruin isn’t oblivious to the class of the trend-setting Crusaders but he also believes his team’s opponents in Saturday’s Super Rugby final have been getting preferential treatment from referees.

“We’ve got to be aware that we’re playing at their home ground in front of big support. The offside line applies to both sides,” said the team from Ellis Park’s mentor on Monday, ahead of their departure for Christchurch.

“They can’t think because they’re the defending champions or because people think they’re good get away with certain stuff.”

As a result, one of the most pressing matters for De Bruin upon arrival is to have a good chat with referee Glen Jackson and his assistants.

“You know me, I speak from the heart. I’ve reviewed a lot of clips and there’s a lot of stuff the Crusaders get away with more than other sides, like the offside line,” he said.

In fact, De Bruin isn’t scared of pointing out specific examples.

“We saw questionable hits on the left side of the scrum on the loosehead. There’s a reason why there’s a 10m line at scrum. Last weekend (Hurricanes scrumhalf) TJ Perenara touched a ball from a scrum and the Crusaders defenders were already 5m away from him,” he said.

“I’ll have that talk to the refs.”

Sanzaar had already confirmed by the middle of last week that Australian Angus Gardner would be handling the weekend’s showpiece, a move that surprises De Bruin as the governing body had previously made the appointment during the week of a final.

“It was surprising. It seems there’s a change in the system. I was hoping for a South African assistant referee at least. The assistants are vital in checking things like the offside line but we’ll address it.

“All we’re asking for is a fair deal. Hopefully, we’ll get it.”

* Meanwhile, both flanker Cyle Brink and winger Aphiwe Dyantyi are fit to play in the final.

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