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South African Press Sharpen Their Knives Following Wallabies Loss

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Sunday Aug 28, 2022

World Champions South Africa have had a rather up and down season thus far.

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A narrow 2 – 1 home series win that included a first ever home defeat to a Welsh side that struggled throughout the Six Nations was backed followed up by a dominant performance over an under fire All Blacks squad before losing to the same team a week later.

Certainly, the bosses at SA Rugby will say that the Boks are building towards the World Cup, a statement that only time will tell.

Following yesterday’s heavy defeat at the hands of an injury plagued Wallabies side in Adelaide will certainly not have done this plan any favours.

The South African rugby public and media are as passionate as they come, backing their side no matter what.

As with every nation however there are some who take it too far, in this instance South African journalist James Richardson is that person.

Richardson’s bio on the website “The South African” states that  “James is a sports and lifestyle journalist based in the Western Cape. He was the editor of Cricket365 from 2016 until joining the staff of The South African in November of 2018. He has been published in the SA Cricket Magazine (both print and online), on Cricbuzz, Planet Sport, Tennis365 and the Heavy Roller.”

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Writing in his opinion piece on the “The South Africa” Richardson offered little analysis of what transpired but rather blasted referee Paul Williams.

“Paul Williams of New Zealand has brought shame onto the game of rugby with one of the worst officiating displays in modern rugby,” the journalist has written.

“Williams’ efforts were either criminally incompetent or evidence of bias.

“On several occasions Australia got a massive lift from a dodgy call from the Kiwi whistle-blower.”

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Starting with Joseph Dweba’s line-out woes where the hooker continued a trend of struggling to throw straight into the line-out, Richardson instead turned the blame towards the officials.

“Starting with a pedantic call for a supposedly skew throw in, followed closely by a strange high-tackle penalty when Faf de Klerk cleared out when Lood de Jager burst towards the Australian line,” he added.

“Australia were allowed to continuously engage in spoiling tactics in the last 15 minutes of the first half when the Springboks dominated but were stopped by the Wallabies, mostly by illegal means.

“The Wallabies might twice have conceded a penalty try but instead first saw a scrum penalty go their way when their skipper James Slipper was clearly scrumming inwards bringing the packs down.

“Australia’s captain should have been in the bin, and the scores should have been level at this point.

“Instead, play continued and Australia, with the ear of the referee stalled for time again and again and took control of the contest as a direct result.”

In a rather contentious moment, Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi launched towards the try line only to be blasted by Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete.

“Marika Koroibete should have been carded for the flying shoulder charge that denied Makazole Mapimpi a try.”

One incident that all fans outside of Australia have agreed on is that Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White carried out one of the most ridiculous dives seen on a rugby pitch.

“Perhaps the worst incident in the first half was one that brings shame onto the game of rugby, Williams bought into play-acting from Australia scrumhalf Nic White whose actions have no place in the sport at all.”

Ending his column, Richardson continued his tirade on Williams and White.

“Paul Williams and Nic White bring the game into disrepute.”

“De Klerk provided a basis for the call with his attempt to disrupt but the subsequent reaction from White to try and draw a response from the official and Williams bizarrely believing that the incident warranted a yellow card let alone the relieving penalty they also received.

“Meanwhile, Australia had received a yellow of their own earlier but continued to spoil with little to no consequences.”

Richardson continues “The second half saw more of the same, as Australia sought to consistently slow down Springbok ball by lying in the way and using their acting skills to good effect.

“Williams’ diabolical decision-making robbed the Springboks of momentum and points and changed the nature of the game.

“This referee has no place taking charge of big games and should be banished to the bush leagues for the rest of his days.”

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