WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 09, Referee Bryce Lawrence in action during the IRB Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between South Africa and Australia at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 09, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

STAFF REPORTER

NEW Zealand rugby referee Bryce Lawrence is wanted for crimes against the Bokke.

Bok fans regard him as the man who stole the World Cup from right under their noses after an inept display of whistle-blowing that is right up there with the worst of them.

A Facebook petition to stop Lawrence from refereeing – Petition To Stop Bryce Lawrence Ever Reffing A Rugby Game Again – attracted, at about 8am today, 40 899 fans.

The petition was started on Sunday.

“Bryce Lawrence made 29 wrong calls in the match today... he should never be allowed to ref a rugby game at that level again since he is clearly incompetent,” said one of the posts on the Facebook page.

Neighbourhood watch crime tracking website eblockwatch.co.za got in on the act, posting a warning on their front page yesterday with a photograph of Lawrence. “Wanted alive in SA for robbing Springboks of WC”, read the text beneath the photograph.

The defending champions bowed out 11-9 despite dominating vast portions of the nail-biting Wellington encounter on Sunday.