Bok team

Eben Etzebeth against Argentina. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images

VIDEO: Former Bok coach slams Eben referee decision

Former Bok assistant coach Swys de Bruin believes it was a ‘terrible, pathetic call’ to disallow a try to Eben Etzebeth on Saturday.

Bok team

Eben Etzebeth against Argentina. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images

The Bok team managed to pull off a 38-21 victory at a packed Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, but it was ultimately a bitter-sweet result as the Springboks still ultimately finished second in the Rugby Championship.

It was also another weekend with a spate of controversial decisions by World Rugby’s referees and Television Match Officials (TMOs).

In the Springboks v Argentina clash at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Saturday, Australian referee Damon Murphy handed out 38 penalties in a match that dragged on – and on – for two hours and 11 minutes.

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Argentina were penalised 22 times while the Springboks were sanctioned on 16 occasions in a Test which also saw six yellow cards dished out.

One of the penalties that went against the Boks came early on when they were penalises for obstruction just as it seemed Eben Etzebeth had successfully scored what would have been a crucial early try.

Officials felt that Etzebeth had been in front of skipper Siya Kolisi, but replays in fact showed that Etzebeth never let go of the ball, and was therefore not causing any obstruction.

Speaking on SuperSport’s Final Whistle programme, Swys de Bruin insisted that a try should have been awarded.

“Eben, not for one second, took his hands off the ball. The TMO said obstruction… it’s a terrible, pathetic call. That is a try,” De Bruin said.

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Meanwhile, doing the double over the Pumas, while picking up wins against both New Zealand and Australia represented progress according to coach Jacques Nienaber, although he also admitted there were key improvements still required.

“We had a plan to go full on to win the Championship. We were on task up to minute 35 and then they got a penalty and the score before half time changed the dynamics.

“I think we can’t fault the effort from the players. We all sat down and bought into giving it as good a shot as we could – unfortunately we came up short, but you must never take a win in the Bok jersey for granted and we won’t. It’s special…”

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The Bok side are next in action against Ireland, the No 1 ranked team in the world, in Dublin in November when Nienaber said they would have an even better idea of the team’s progress.

“We’re not where we want to be yet. We need consistency, and we’ll probably get a pretty good idea on our end-of-year tour. We play No 1 and No 2 [France] teams in the world and we have an SA A side, and it will be a challenging tour. But it will give us nice answers as to where we are.”

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi said “we had some great, great moments in the Rugby Championship, and we also had some weak moments”.

“We know we can win against anyone in the world on our day, but today was a big step forward because it was a third win in a row and we want to take that momentum with us into the end-of-year tour,” added the Bok captain.

The Bok team finished one point behind New Zealand on the final standings

Nienaber noted that he had used 34 players in the tournament and that some questions had been answered over position depth.

“We built some squad depth. Some players got some experience but that wasn’t the main aim – which was to win the Rugby Championship and we fell short on that. But there were some positives to take out of it,” he said.

“We are in a better position now in terms of learning about certain positions than we were when we started. There was always this big issue around flyhalf and whether Damian (Willemse) could play there and hats off to Frans (Steyn) today, in a very short space of time he had to slot in and he will just get better in terms of that.

“We’ve also had Kurt-Lee (Arendse) and Canan (Moodie) come through and now Cheslin (Kolbe) has to perform if he wants to get back in – but we know he is quality, and we look forward to welcoming him back.”

WATCH | HIGHLIGHTS: SPRINGBOKS V ARGENTINA

Springbok team: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Duane Vermeulen, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse.

Argentina team:  15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Moroni , 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Julian Montoya (c), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Subs: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Pedro Rubiolo, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Bautista Delguy.

jasper wiese springboks