Makazole Mapimpi had a try disallowed in the closing stages of Saturday’s Test match against Wales in Cardiff after several Springboks were ruled offside by the referee.
As the clock approached 70 minutes Cobus Reinach spooned a box kick almost straight up in the air with Mapimpi, Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi giving chase.
After the ball was slapped back by a Welsh hand it bounced straight to Etzebeth who found Mapimpi on his inside to set up the try.
However the official, Paul Williams, disallowed the try and told South Africa captain Kolisi that the players initially ahead of the ball needed to retreat before competing for possession.
“Those guys actually have to retire backwards, they can’t even just stay there,” Williams told Kolisi.
The players in question are Lukhanyo Am, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch and Franco Morsert – but a video from TASanalytics shows that in fact they do all retreat after the ball is kicked.
Potentially Williams mistook Etzebeth for Morsert, but even so according to the official’s ruling the try should have stood.
Regardless of this decision South Africa went on to win the game 18-23 in Cardiff and full match highlights are available below:
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, and there was some over-eagerness as we lacked accuracy at times in terms of using our opportunities,” said Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber.
“But this was a valuable win for us because we knew these are the same conditions we can expect in the 2023 World Cup.”
Captain Kolisi added: “The players who came off the bench were huge today, and we know that our replacements are always one of our weapons – they were very special today.
“Frans (Steyn) made an impact after he came on early for Damian Willemse, and the same can be said for all the forwards, as well as Cobus (Reinach) and Elton (Jantjies) when they came on.”