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Ex-Springboks assistant coach Swys De Bruin calls for sanctions against referees

Swys De Bruin

Former Springboks assistant coach Swys De Bruin has called for there to be “better sanctions” against referees that make incorrect decisions during games.

South Africa were narrowly beaten by England in an exciting encounter at Twickenham Stadium, thanks to a late penalty from young fly-half Marcus Smith.

England we’re actually penalised far more in the game than South Africa were, as they conceded a total of 18 penalties to the visitors’ eight, but De Bruin believes the hosts got away with a number of infractions that had a big effect on the result.

De Bruin was identifying cases where England were lucky not to have been penalised on SuperSport after the game and called for World Rugby to hold their referees accountable for incorrect decisions.

Swys De Bruin calls for sanctions against referees.

“I’ll tell you what the solution is. There should be better sanctions against [officials] as well,” De Bruin said, when asked what how World Rugby should try to prevent incorrect decisions during games.

“In Afrikaans we say you’ve got to take ‘verantwoordelikheid’. You’ve got to take responsibility for your actions. You can’t now get sensitive. ‘They take me out’ and ‘I’m feeling degraded because this and that.’

“You’re on the big stage. You’re getting money for that. You should offer a product that’s acceptable.”

Referees have come under the spotlight in 2021.

Match officials have been heavily criticised on a number of occasions this year, with South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus’s hour long video critique of referee Nic Berry’s performance in the first British and Irish Lions test the most high profile of the lot.

He certainly hasn’t been the only person to criticise referees this year however, with Australia head coach Dave Rennie describing the officiating performance in the Wallabies’ recent loss to Wales as “horrendous”.

Even Nigel Owens pointed out a couple mistakes that referee Andrew Brace made during South Africa’s loss to England and nobody knows better than the world’s most-capped international referee just how difficult officiating can be.

The rugby served up in the Autumn Nations Series was far more entertaining than in this year’s Lions tour, but despite the increase in quality of the overall product, many frustrations remain over the fairness of the game.

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