Referee Angus Gardener during the Springboks game against Scotland. Photo: Craig Watson/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix
Referee Angus Gardener during the Springboks game against Scotland. Photo: Craig Watson/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

The biggest taint on the Springboks win against Scotland was the officiating

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Nov 14, 2021

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Cape Town - The Springboks’ second-half performance against Scotland was a much-improved display, but out of all the things they got wrong in the opening half, the officiating was the biggest taint on the Test at Murrayfield.

South Africa secured their second victory of the End of Year Tour after claiming a historic win against Wales in Cardiff last week.

While they pulled through with the result, drastic change was needed from the Boks after that first half.

They should have done much, much more with all the time they spent in Scotland’s half in that opening quarter.

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Their scrum was a major positive in the first 40 (that dominance continued into the second), and their defence also held up before things got messy.

Herschel Jantjies just didn’t cut it while he was on the field. He was way, way too slow and made it easy for Scotland’s defence to set, his kicking was substandard, and he was an obstacle for the Boks on attack. His execution also lacked. Things looked much better structurally when Cobus Reinach came on in the second half.

Willie le Roux also failed to make use of his starting opportunity with a few shockers. The way he tackled in had a direct hand in one of Scotland’s two tries, and his error when he came in at scrumhalf was also unforgivable.

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While changing the front row when the clock was literally at 40 minutes was rather questionable, the substitutions brought some good change to the Boks’ game. The Bomb Squad was again big.

Frans Steyn again brought some much needed reliability at the back, Reinach’s impact was clear for all to see, and Malcolm Marx sure made his presence felt.

While the pack, as a unit, was dominant, winning penalty after penalty at the scrum, Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi certainly deserve a special mention. The powerhouse lock produced a monster of a game against the Scots, and Kolisi was just massive.

Makazole Mapimpi was outstanding, and the way he has grown his all-round game, going from a lethal finisher to a work-hunter, is impressive.

Damian de Allende was another big contributor.

In terms of officiating, Angus Gardner would have had more viewers running to the law book than okes taking the exam.

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Some of his calls were just downright ridiculous, and it again showed how different rules seem to apply whenever South Africa are involved in a Test.

Out of all the dubious calls he made, only a couple went to the Boks when it could have been argued that the Scots deserved it.

Releasing the tackled player, contesting and peeling around at the maul, offside…these were just some of the things that at times just didn’t make sense.

His brightest moment in the game was his penalty chirp to Reinach. Other than that, there was way more to complain about than praiseworthy moments in terms of officiating.

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

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