Dublin ‘delight’ as Boks get Honiss

Paul Honiss will again referee the Boks one-off test against Ireland in Dublin.

The last time the Boks played Ireland in Dublin Honiss awarded the home team a controversial try when he allowed play to continue after telling John Smit he had a time-out to talk to his team about a repeated infringement caution. Smit turned to gather his troops, the Boks stopped, the Irish took a quick tap from 10 metres out and Honiss allowed play to continue. It was the only try of the match, won 17-12 by Ireland.

Honiss has since acknowledged he made a mistake and perhaps the Boks will find a friend and not a foe in the New Zealander. Or perhaps they won’t. When the Boks lost 49-0 to Australia in Brisbane, Jake White was scathing of Honiss’s performance and the referee responded by hammering White in the media. Honiss said the Boks would have been better off focusing on their lack of performance, rather than blaming the referee.

Once again, Dublin promises to be an interesting week for the Boks, especially if White and Honiss start sparring before kick-off.

The Boks will also have Steve Welsh for the first test against England at Twickenham, with Ireland’s Allain Rolland officiating the second test. Again the Boks may feel they have the advantage, especially in the first test. Welsh has had trouble with the English players before and on the Lions tour to New Zealand he was officially reported for bias against the Lions. He was stood down for a match after an IRB investigation.

The IRB confirmed their November internationals appointments and South Africa’s top referees Jonathan Kaplan and Mark Lawrence don’t feature. Craig Joubert has been handed the Italian test against Argentina and Marius Jonker’s two tests include Ireland hosting Australia.

The remainder of the top five clashes are a combination of European, Australian and New Zealand referees.

IRB NOVEMBER REFEREE APPOINTMENTS:

Nov 4: Wales v Australia, Cardiff, Steve Walsh (NZ).
Nov 5: England v New Zealand, London, Joel Jutge (France).
Nov 11: Ireland v South Africa, Dublin, Paul Honiss (NZ); England v Argentina, London, Kelvin Deaker (NZ); Wales v Pacific Islands,
Cardiff, Wayne Barnes (England); Italy v Australia, Rome, Nigel Owens (Wales); France v New Zealand, Lyon, Stuart Dickinson (Aus); Scotland v Romania, Edinburgh, Matt Goddard (Aus).
Nov 17: Wales v Canada, Cardiff, Tony Spreadbury (England).
Nov 18: England v South Africa, London, Steve Walsh (NZ); Italy v Argentina, Rome, Craig Joubert (SA); France v New Zealand, Paris, Chris White (England); Scotland v Pacific Islands, Edinburgh, Bryce Lawrence (NZ).
Nov 19: Ireland v Australia, Dublin, Marius Jonker (SA).
Nov 25: England v South Africa, London, Allain Rolland (Ireland); France v Argentina, Paris, Alan Lewis (Ireland); Italy v Canada, Pordenone, Marius Jonker (SA); Scotland v Australia, Edinburgh, Donal Courtney (Ireland); Wales v New Zealand, Cardiff, Dave Pearson (England).
Nov 26: Ireland v Pacific Islands, Dublin, Christophe Berdos (France).