Ben O’Keeffe

New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe looks on during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Ireland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on September 23, 2023. Photo: AFP

Springboks v Ireland | Rate the referee: Ben O’Keeffe

What did you think of the performance from referee Ben O’Keeffe during the tense Test between the Springboks and Ireland?

Ben O’Keeffe

New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe looks on during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Ireland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on September 23, 2023. Photo: AFP

A monumental contest between the Springboks and Ireland went down to an achingly narrow wire as the World No 1 side edged a seismic Rugby World Cup Pool B clash 13-8 (halftime 7-3) at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday night.

The Springboks had many missed opportunities, and lost out on as many as 11 points due to goal kicks that went wide, and they will be left to rue these shortcomings.

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Naturally for such a massive match, there was also a big focus on the performance of referee Ben O’Keeffe from New Zealand.

The Springboks only have themselves to blame for the loss, but there were certainly some interesting decisions made at the breakdown and scrums.

Perhaps most notably, O’Keeffe also ruled that a late maul from the Springboks had been legally ‘sacked’ by Ireland, while he suggested that the ball was not coming out even when it clearly arrived on the side of the South Africans.

ALSO READ: Is this the best Springboks 23 for the rest of the World Cup?

All in all, what did you think of the performance from Ben O’Keeffe?

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HOW THE TEAMS LINED UP

Springboks – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Marco van Staden, 22 Kwagga Smith, 23 Cobus Reinach.

Ireland – 15 Hugo Keenan; 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe; 10 Johnny Sexton (c), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park; 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony; 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne; 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter.
Subs: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Ryan Baird, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Robbie Henshaw.

ALSO READ: RANKINGS: World Rugby confirm changes, Springboks well placed

Scorers:

Springboks 8 (3) – Try: Cheslin Kolbe. Penalty goal: Manie Libbok.

Ireland 13 (7) – Try: Mack Hansen. Conversion: Johnny Sexton. Penalty goals: Sexton, Jack Crowley.

MATCH OFFICIALS:


Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France) & James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)