Jacques Nienaber

The Springboks have a lot of work to do ahead of the defence of their Rugby World Cup title in France in 2023 admits coach Jacques Nienaber. Photo: Albert Perez/Getty Images

Waterboy incident: Springboks admit embarrassing ‘stuff up’ in win over All Blacks

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber has admitted he ordered one of his waterboy’s to hound one of the assistant referees during a controversial incident in the Rugby Championship win over the All Blacks.

Jacques Nienaber

The Springboks have a lot of work to do ahead of the defence of their Rugby World Cup title in France in 2023 admits coach Jacques Nienaber. Photo: Albert Perez/Getty Images

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber has admitted he ordered one of his waterboy’s to hound one of the assistant referees during a controversial incident in the Rugby Championship win over the All Blacks on Saturday, according to the Stuff website.

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The Test was ultimately decided by a penalty with the final kick of the match by replacement flyhalf Elton Jantjies.

Tensions ran were high throughout the Test which was won 31-29 by the Springboks.

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Never more so than when a Springbok waterboy could be seen chasing the assistant referee up the sideline shouting at him over a South African kick into touch.

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England referee Matthew Carley, who saw what was unfolding, took the waterboy aside and issued him with a warning.

“If I see you chasing our touch judge up the line again, you’ll be off,” Carley was heard saying.

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Post-match Nienaber put his hand up and said the orders were coming out of the South African coaching box as they sought clarity over one of rugby’s controversial new rules.

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“We thought it was a 50:22. We got it wrong at the top,” Neinaber explained.

“I think Australia and New Zealand have had two competitions under that law, so they’re a little bit more familiar with it. Not that it’s any excuse. We just wanted him to notify [the AR]. We apologise, we just got it wrong.”

“We saw it live and then re-winded and then … sorry. We stuffed it up.”

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