Readers’ Views: Coetzee must go and more…

Date published: January 25 2017

Our latest inbox calls for Allister Coetzee to go and a defence of referees…

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End of the line for Coetzee

Allister Coetzee should leave with immediate effect. Under him, the Stormers average 16 points per game. Jacques Nienaber, because of his defensive expertise, was the reason for their relative success.

Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Lionel Mapoe, were arguably the best centre combination in  Super rugby. Yet, they didn't feature once for the Springboks as a combination. 

No Ox Nche, Reniel Hugo, Shaun Venter or Travis Ismaiel? Seriously, this man is a disgrace!

He talked about the so called "fundamental issues" that needs to be addressed after the loss against Wales.

Excuses sound best to the people that's making them up. Period!

Steven Marx

Calm down on the referee bashing

I had an interesting idea recently while watching the Saracens vs Leicester game…

Some of us may recall Owen Williams attempting a clearing kick and Maro Itoje making an audacious lunge with his right boot to block the kick with his foot. I was watching on aghast thinking ‘has Maro just done the unthinkable? Is he following Dylan down the old beaten track laden with acts of madness leading to needless suspension? Is his six nations over before it’s even started?’ but, to my surprise, the man with the whistle JP Doyle said, conferring with his touch judge, ‘can you check the ball had left his hands, if the ball left his hands that’s ok’, and so play continued.

What transpired was that in fact the freakishly athletic and fiendishly talented Itoje knew exactly what he was trying to do and executed it perfectly, blocking the kick and indirectly winning his team possession from a resulting knock-on. Owen Williams mild attempt at play acting for an injury was exactly  that, and no harm or sanction was incurred on either side.

But what struck me the most about the situation was the way JP Doyle kept his whistle down by his side, communicated with his touch judge that it be looked at, and calmly continued to officiate what was playing out in front of him. While I was bemoaning what looked like a crazy lunge to the groin and a likely lengthy layoff, Doyle was calmly assessing what was in front of him, immediately knowing exactly what the right call was, and, letting play continue all at the same time. What a man!

What shocked me further was the fact that I was actually full of praise for a referee, and those watching with me were sharing my new found enthusiasm for this plucky Irishman in the middle.

With referee bashing all the rage these days, all this got me thinking, they’re not all that bad really are they? I mean, they turn up every week to officiate one of the most complicated and hotly contested sports on the planet, and, are privately and publicly criticised by fans, coaches, pundits and sometimes even commentators (Austin!), but could we do any better? I’m not so sure.

When Craig Joubert retired late last year the Scottish fans went into overdrive on social media with some of the most bitter comments I have seen from rugby folk. Maybe he made a mistake, maybe he didn’t, but in that situation could anyone else have done any better? (In that particular case I think more blame should have been heaped on the Scottish forwards for not winning their own lineout in the dying seconds of a World Cup quarter final!)

I’m going to break the trend here and say that I think we are very fortunate to have had the Craig Jouberts, Andre Watsons and Ed Morrissons that we have had; we are privileged to have the JP Doyles, Romain Poites and Wayne Barnes that we have now, and, we are lucky to have the Luke Pearces, Tom Foleys and Ben Whitehouses coming through. They are keeping our sport fair, safe and competitive and they deserve much more of our gratitude than they get…

DJ Armitstead

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