My Super Rugby rants and raves for Independent Media’s iol.co.za following Round 13. Kriel continues to improve and impress, while the officiating in Super Rugby remains an issue, with South African sides getting the short end of the stick.
I am a huge admirer of Lukhanyo Am and I’ve been consistent in promoting his claims to the Springbok No 13 jersey. But there is no doubting the immense improvement in Bulls and Springbok outside centre Jesse Kriel in 2018, who every weekend has made a telling statement that his belongs in the Boks.
Kriel was the full package against the Sharks. He created tries, he scored tries and he made tackles. His passing has improved and his grubber kick for Warrick Gelant’s try was sublime.
I am not suggesting that the referee was the reason the Lions lost against the Highlanders or that the Stormers lost against the Chiefs. That would be too easy a cop out for the failings of both SA teams. But the standard of refereeing in Super Rugby is just unacceptable in a professional sport.
The interpretations (at Newlands) of Kiwi referee Mike Fraser, especially at scrum time, were contentious and baffling.
SA teams get the short end of the stick when it comes to referees, and they even get it when the referee is South African! I thought Rasta Rasivhenge (at Loftus) was as poor as any Kiwi or Aussie.