BLOEMFONTEIN – The Springboks fans' love-hate relationship with French referee Romain Poite looks set to continue in the second Test against England in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
In a city with the nickname, 'The City of Roses', Bok supporters can only hope that Poite will emerge from the match smelling of roses after his controversial past with South African teams.
Poite's decisions will be crucial in this the second of a three-Test series and the Frenchman is still remembered for causing Bok fans' blood pressure to rise when he gave Bismarck du Plessis a yellow card against the All Blacks.
That came in Auckland in 2013 after what was deemed a legal tackle on Dan Carter.
Strangely Poite has not had any problems with the Boks or their supporters since then and his record reffing SA games is fair. Of the nine Tests and they have won five and lost four when he has been in charge.
Two of those victories came in Springbok mid-year Tests - winning 30-17 against Scotland in 2013 and 38-16 when they met Wales a year later.
Saturday's Test officials are:
Ref: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant 1: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant 2: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland).
African News Agency (ANA)