Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
4 minute read
25 Sep 2021
7:30 am

The ‘bad boy’ image does not help the Boks with 50/50 calls

Ken Borland

It's time captain Siya Kolisi started a charm offensive with the referees.

Referee Luke Pearce gives a yellow card to Siya Kolisi of the Springboks during the Rugby Championship match against Australia recently. The Boks have been on the wrong side of the law a fair bit recently. Picture: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Due to their reliance on physicality and aggression, the Springboks have often been regarded as the bad boys of rugby. Which is all well and good when it comes to intimidating the opposition, but not so helpful when, in the eyes of the referees, you are the team who needs to be watched more carefully. It’s a stereotype of course (which we know all about in this country), but it’s funny how, almost as surely as night follows day, South Africa win a World Cup or are the best team in the world and the narrative from overseas begins that...