Hewett wants neutral referees

Date published: April 2 2016

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Crusaders forwards coach Dave Hewett has urged governing body SANZAAR to reinstate neutral referees in Super Rugby.

The former All Black prop made this statement in the wake of the seven time champions' 43-37 victory over the Lions in Johannesburg on Friday.

The 44-year-old, who joined the coaching staff in 2010, is not the only one asking for neutral referees to be recalled, fans and coaches from all over are urging SANZAAR to look into the matter.

"That’s a really important thing," Hewett told Newstalk ZB.

"The problem that you have is when you get a referee from the city you’re playing in, there’s a massive crowd influence that comes in.

South African referee Stuart Berry was in charge of the match and awarded a total of thirteen penalties to the home side and only six for the men from Christchurch.

Hewett says that the appointment of a local referee allows not only the teams, both home and away, but also the supporters to perceive the official's decision as biased.

"They do affect it, it does happen. So neutral referees would take that out of any discussions post-match essentially," he said.

"It’s something that is frustrating from a coaching point of view and can have a massive influence on the game."

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