Scotland coach Frank Hadden believes the TV referee should not have awarded Schalk Burger’s first-half try.
The flanker’s five-pointer came in the 16th minute of the Test when the scores were locked at 3-all. TV replays showed Burger ground the ball short of the tryline and then make another movement in order to ground the ball on the line. While most expected the referee to award Scotland a penalty, the TMO gave the try.
“It did not look like a try to me,” said Hadden afterwards. “It should have been a penalty for us. It took a while for him to get the ball over the line, and it is hard to believe there was not a double movement. It was a significant score as after that we were always behind on the scoreboard.”
Bok captain John Smit laughed when asked if the try should have been awarded.
“I always back the referees and the touch judges, everyone knows that. I wouldn’t want to question them. Occasionally you might be lucky down your end but then you end up giving one away at the other end at another stage.”
Hadden admitted his side had let themselves down in Durban, by not taking the game to the Boks.
“Our defence should have been a lot more aggressive than it was,” he said. “We let the Springboks get away with too many passes. They are bigger players than us, so this gave them momentum and enabled them to set up a platform. We should have been better in coping with the big Springbok pack. But we like it tough, and that is why we are here. We are here to learn and it will be a good learning curve for us.
The coach was also disappointed with his side’s poor discipline on the day.
“We gave away early penalties which was my fault as we thought the referee would blow for the defending team at the breakdowns, as he normally does overseas. We misjudged that one, but it was not a huge setback as we came back with a penalty of our own.
Scotland captain Jason White echoed Hadden’s sentiments.
“We were not aggressive enough at the breakdown,” he said. “I don’t know why this was, and if I knew the answer, we would have sorted it out during the match.
“I think the biggest factor was that the Boks were playing at home. You guys in the press gave them a hard time this week and they came out firing obviously with a lot to prove.
“In the first 10 minutes we were not aggressive enough, we were not intense enough, and the bigger Bok forwards were able to build a platform. They are hard to stop when they are bigger than us and they are allowed to build momentum.
“It would have appeared that the Boks were off-loading the ball quicker than is the case in the matches in the Six Nations, but this might have been because our defence was just not up to scratch.”