Referee Jaco Peyper had a busy afternoon in Saturday’s Currie Cup final between the Bulls and the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld.
Not only did the final go the full distance to 100 minutes after extra-time, with the Bulls winning 26-19, but Peyper also had to yank the players off the pitch in the first half over concerns of a thunderstorm that was rolling towards the stadium.
Considered by many to be South Africa’s most pedigreed referee currently operating, Peyper allowed for a free-flowing game that saw numerous calls of ‘play on’ when a knock-on or a scrum penalty would have been accepted.
It was his fifth Currie Cup final and his experience was on show throughout the contest as he took control of proceedings.
At one point in the first period, Peyper felt like young Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse was being unnecessarily vocal in pointing out areas that Peyper should look out for.
“You’ve got a lot of advice for your first Currie Cup,” Peyper chirped as SuperSport commentators Matt Pearce and Hanyani Shimange bellowed with laughter on air.
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Then, towards the end of the contest, Peyper had a bit of advice of his own for one of the country’s most respected rugby figures in Bulls captain Duane Vermeulen.
“Duane, you know from playing for the Springboks … you used to hate it when New Zealand did that,” he said.
Shimange summed it all up: “Jaco Peyper has been coming in off the long run-up today,” he quipped.