Peyper defends Bok Bomb Squad from criticism

Jaco Peyper. | Backpagepix

Jaco Peyper. | Backpagepix

Published Jul 9, 2024


Mike Greenaway

The Springboks’ refereeing advisor, Jaco Peyper, has poured cold water on the international criticism that the Springbok Bomb Squad is dangerous and not in the spirit of the game.

During the last World Cup, the Boks’ use of close to a second pack of forwards off the bench attracted criticism in some quarters, notably from former Scotland coach Matt Williams, and it has been revived after the Bomb Squad detonated in a set scrum late in the first Test at Loftus on Saturday to earn the Boks a penalty try.

Peyper pointed out that Ireland used a similar split between forwards and backs on the bench in this year’s Six Nations.

“I think the law is pretty clear you can do it,” Peyper said. “I don’t think that makes it dangerous. It makes it dangerous when players don’t drop their height into contact.

“It makes it dangerous when players take a risk in the air and don’t respect the other player in the air. I don’t think the Bomb Squad or a 6-2 split makes it dangerous. Ireland played with a 6-2 split three times in the Six Nations, nobody talked about them.

“I think it’s because it was effective. The safety of the game is determined by the shape of the game. Laws are made to protect players. A fresh pair of legs doesn’t make the game dangerous. I’ve seen a paper written by Dr Ross Tucker that says the risk of injury goes down when fresher players enter the pitch.”

Peyper was speaking at a media conference in Durban ahead of Saturday’s second Test and he gave his opinion on some of the calls made by referee Luke Pearce on Saturday. He denied that the Boks enjoyed the rub of the green.

“It’s factually based,” he said when asked about why Ireland wing James Lowe’s try was chalked off because of an earlier infringement at the breakdown.

“If you look at that try, two years ago in Dublin, Ireland scored a try from the exact same action where the hooker kicked the ball out of the breakdown and Ireland got the benefit of the doubt that day. This time it went the other way. It’s fact-proven and follows a process.”

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