Scotland coach Frank Hadden has blamed poor officiating for costing his team an historic first win over the Springboks in South Africa.
The key mistake, Hadden told the post-match press conference, was the TMO decision not to award Simon Webster’s try minutes before the break. “As far as I’m concerned Simon did get an awkward bounce and did fumble the ball before the try, but he did not knock the ball on,” Hadden complained.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you look at it, the ball does not go forward from his hands. I think we can feel fairly agrieved at that as I have no doubt that was the critical turning point of the match.”
The incident occured a minute before the break, with the Scots trailing 12-5. A try then and with the possible conversion – it was scored near the uprights – would have levelled matters at half-time.
Several other areas bothered Hadden, but in particular at the lineout, where the Scots competed superbly he felt the officials had let his team down. “There were lots of little areas. We were very upset at how the Springboks were allowed to close the gap at lineout time. I know the South Africans have an impressive lineout, but if they are allowed to just come crashing across the gap you then really have very little opportunity to win the ball.”
“The high tackle on Jason (White) as well. When the guys gets smashed around the head and non of the officials appear to see it you have to worry about what’s actually happening,” continued Hadden.
Hadden felt his team had done enough to secure an historic first ever win over the Boks on South African soil. “It was a very special performance especailly after last weekend. I think we did enough to earn victory.”
Springbok coach Jake White felt differently when asked the same question. “Well, if you look at the score it was 29-15 so, no, I don’t think they did enough to win it.”
By Andrew Hollely, at the EPRU Stadium