Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Rassie’s tweets: How will World Rugby respond?

The last time Erasmus was critical of officiating World Rugby banned the SA Rugby director of rugby.


How, if at all, will World Rugby respond to the latest series of tweets by SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus?

Erasmus has landed in hot water before, following a video he made questioning and criticising refereeing decisions made by Nic Berry and his officiating panel during last year’s first Test between the Springboks and British and Irish Lions.

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World Rugby didn’t take kindly to the video and banned Erasmus from rugby for several months.

Now, in the wake of the Boks’ Test defeat to France in Marseille at the weekend, Erasmus has been at it again.

This time though, he didn’t make a video (or one the public knows about), but he did send out a series of tweets in the hours after the Boks’ loss to France, seemingly questioning several incidents in the match, and making statements in an obvious sarcastic manner.

In his first tweet, hours after the match, he says, among other things, “We just have to fix these fundamental errors like tackle technique and simple passing.” He seems to be questioning some of the calls made by referee Wayne Barnes.

In a second clip, Erasmus highlights a moment where a French player potentially detaches from a maul and states “we just have to work harder and make sure we understand the rules correctly.”

In two more clips, Erasmus points out potential infringements by French players, which went unpunished by Barnes.

Erasmus also compares two moments in the game when a seemingly flat pass by the French team is allowed by the officials, but a similar pass made by Willie le Roux late on when the Boks were chasing the game and looking to launch an attack was called “forward” by Barnes.

The Boks have now lost two matches in a row on their European tour, following a defeat last week against Ireland in Dublin.

Erasmus already then seemingly felt hard-done by following a few incidents that seemingly went Ireland’s way, including their scoring a try from what appeared to be a forward pass.

It remains to be seen if World Rugby will respond to the latest series of tweets by the SA Rugby director of rugby.

The Boks still have two more games on their November tour of Europe. They face Italy in Genoa this weekend and conclude their tour with a match against England at Twickenham the following week.

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