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Ken Borland


Ante raised by Boks as Kolisi says he was disrespected by officials & Stick says all they want is to be treated equitably by authorities

Posted on July 30, 2021 by Ken

South Africa have to win the second Test against the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town on Saturday to stay in the series and the ante was raised even further by captain Siya Kolisi on Friday when he confirmed he felt disrespected by the match officials in the first Test last weekend and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said all the Springboks want is to be treated equitably by the authorities.

The now infamous hour-long video released this week by director of rugby Rassie Erasmus shows how Kolisi battled to be heard by the referee, while Lions captain Alun-Wyn Jones seemed to have a hotline to Nic Berry.

Erasmus is now reportedly going to be sanctioned by WorldRugby, but as Stick pointed out, the first person to disrespect the match officials was Lions coach Warren Gatland last week when he questioned the integrity of TMO Marius Jonker. The South African was appointed at late notice after New Zealander Brendon Pickerill was unable to fly over for the tour due to Covid travel restrictions.

“I didn’t feel respected, I didn’t feel like I got a fair opportunity to talk to the referee. I wasn’t given the same access to the referee. The man must give a fair opportunity to both captains, that’s all I’ve asked for. But I’m looking forward to a new game and I trust Ben O’Keeffe [Saturday’s referee] will be well-prepared,” Kolisi said on Friday.

Stick went further and said the integrity of both the series and WorldRugby had been ‘destroyed’ by Gatland’s actions last week, which had the predictable outcome of putting Jonker in an impossible position.

“The challenge came when Marius Jonker was appointed because the original TMO could not travel because of Covid. We did not appoint him, that was out of our control. But first things first, when the Lions started questioning the appointment made by WorldRugby, that’s when the problems started.

“No apology was made for questioning his integrity and then everyone goes crazy when we ask questions about decisions that were made on the field. What is right for one side must be the same for the other team, otherwise one team is playing on grass and the other is on mud.

“We would not love it if the series, which only happens once every 12 years, was all about the decisions of the officials. We just want fairness, if Rassie is in trouble then the person who challenged the integrity of the TMO, who destroyed the integrity of the series and WorldRugby, must also be,” Stick fumed.

In terms of what the players will be focusing on on the field of play, Stick said they expect the Lions to once again lean on the kicking game that served them so well in the second half of the first Test, while the Springboks will again be trusting their physicality.

“We think the Lions will come again with a massive kicking game and I must compliment them because things weren’t working for them in the first half last week, so they decided to not play much rugby and instead challenge us in the aerial contest. The first half was going well for us, we had the clinical kicking game, but then in the second half, whatever the Lions coaches said at halftime, it worked for them.

“We know the set-pieces are also crucial at this level and Northern Hemisphere sides are always very physical. The scrums and lineouts are still key because that gives you a platform to attack from. The Lions also scored one try from the driving maul, but we did not get much opportunity to drive. But it’s going to be tough and physical again on Saturday and if we can execute our plan very well then we will have a chance to win,” Stick said.

“We are not doing anything different, we have prepared the same way and we will play the same rugby as last week but better. We need to make sure we maul better and handle their kicks better. There’s a lot of pressure, but we are focused on what we can control and that’s making sure we fixed the mistakes we made. We’ve worked hard on where the Lions attacked us and gained the most benefit,” Kolisi added.

 Teams

Springboks: 15-Willie le Roux, 14-Cheslin Kolbe, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Handré Pollard (vice-captain), 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Jasper Wiese, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Siya Kolisi (captain), 5-Franco Mostert, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Steven Kitshoff. Replacements– 16-Malcolm Marx, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-Lood de Jager, 20-Marco van Staden, 21-Kwagga Smith, 22-Herschel Jantjies, 23-Damian Willemse.

British & Irish Lions: 15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Chris Harris, 12-Robbie Henshaw, 11-Duhan van der Merwe, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Conor Murray, 8-Jack Conan, 7-Tom Curry, 6- Courtney Lawes, 5-Alun Wyn Jones, 4-Maro Itoje, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 2-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1-Mako Vunipola. Replacements -16-Ken Owens, 17-Rory Sutherland, 18-Kyle Sinckler, 19-Tadhg Beirne, 20-Taulupe Faletau, 21-Ali Price, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Elliot Daly.





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