The Springbok brains trust were all dumb founded by referee Bryce Lawrence’s decisions at scrum-time.
Both Bok props were penalised heavily, especially in the second half, allowing the Wallabies to narrow the deficit after they trailed 32-13 heading into the final quarter. Earlier in the match, the Boks gave away numerous free-kicks for what was adjudged to be early engagements, as Lawrence had a patent effect on proceedings.
The Boks’ eventually gained favour from Lawrence on a solitary occasion as Morne Steyn kicked the final penalty awarded at a scrum, but captain John Smit alluded to the guess-like nature of the decisions.
‘The scrum penalties were frustrating, it was quite bizarre and it definitely debilitated our momentum,’ said Smit, who was penalised heavily along with Beast Mtawarira.
Man of the Match and scrumhalf Fourie du Preez was also perplexed with the consistent string of penalties, as was coach Peter de Villiers.
‘I had no idea what was going on. First he was penalising our loosehead and then he started penalising the tighthead,’ said Du Preez.
‘We didn’t have the base we wanted, especially in the scrums, where we were nailed and I don’t understand why,’ said the Bok coach.
The Boks lost the penalty count 15-4, and and although they have lauded their discipline this Tri-Nations, Smit and co will have to rectify this problem before Brisbane next week.
‘It was a bit of a lottery and unfortunately the numbers didn’t come up for us,’ said a diplomatic Smit.