Cape Town – Retired South African referee Jonathan Kaplan says the time has come for the International Rugby Board (IRB) to introduce an on-field challenge system in the game.
Via his website, www.ratetheref.co.za, Kaplan was analysing the past weekend’s Rugby Championship action.
He lauded the All Blacks for their 51-20 mauling of the Wallabies in Auckland, but then went on to support the idea of giving captains the option of using an on-field challenge to dispute a referee’s decision.
Kaplan wrote: “(The All Blacks) put in one of the best performances seen in ages. They beat a good Wallaby team… No they smoked them! This was vintage ABs. They came with a game plan to improve on their performance of the previous weekend executed it to perfection. The fact that a player got yellow carded meant little. They have few discernible weaknesses and it will take a good team to break them down. At home they are virtually unbeatable and you can see that they are everyone’s favourites for the Championship now.
“Of the refereeing stories this week was Jaco Peyper acknowledging that he made mistakes including the yellow card of (Wyatt) Crockett as the ball was out (Beauden Barrett was also inaccurate) as well as some scrum decisions which he apparently owned up to. This came on top of Craig Joubert’s final penalty in the Super Rugby final (he has acknowledged his error) as this too was inaccurate. Then you have people coming out of the woodwork saying that captains need on-field challenge to correct those type of human errors. Couldn’t agree more but we are stuck in a bureaucratic time warp. This should be happening already! This is professional sport. It is too reliant on one man’s whims and the issues will NEVER be resolved if administration think they can stick their heads in the ground and hope for the best. Never!”