MARK KEOHANE writes that Brendan Venter should be applauded for his televised post match interview at the weekend.
Venter, never shy of an opinion, was recently fined in excess of R200 000 for criticising referee performances in the Aviva Premiership and the European Cup.
Venter, in his capacity as Director of Rugby at Saracens, was viewed as the guilty party despite his criticism being accurate. He has subsequently resigned as Director of Rugby to return to South Africa, but will continue to consult with the London club as a technical adviser.
Referees remain a protected species in the world of rugby and Venter, in his own way, gave the establishment an up yours by acting like a confused mute. I guess he was saying that if you want to silence coaches from having opinions then why have the farce of a televised post-match interview?
The interview was bizarre in how Venter managed to keep a straight face, but even more bizarre because of how clueless the interviewer was in recognising Venter was making a mockery of a coach having an opinion.
Racing Metro beat Saracens 24-21 and afterwards Venter was asked how he felt about the defeat.
‘Disappointed, very disappointing, very, very disappointing.’
His next answer to what went wrong.
‘Interesting, wonder what went wrong? I’ll have to think about it… think about it very deeply, very, very deeply,’ he said.
Then he was asked if a bit of Sireli Bobo genius had changed the match.
‘Bit of genius, bit of magic, Sireli Bobo … very interesting, very good … yeah, three cheers for Sireli Bobo, very good, very good.’
The next question was why Saracens did not win. He replied: ‘Good question that, it is important to win, it is important to win…’
He then told the interviewer he would have to think about why his team did not win … ‘think very very deeply,’ he said.