Peyper gets Su­per nod de­spite ‘neu­tral’ call

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

South Africa’s Jaco Peyper was yes­ter­day named as ref­eree for the Su­per Rugby fi­nal as of­fi­cials shrugged off calls for a neu­tral whistle­blower and a yel­low-card con­tro­versy in the semis.

Gov­ern­ing body SAN­ZAAR said Peyper’s ap­point­ment was purely “mer­it­based” after putting him in charge of Satur­day’s fi­nal be­tween South Africa’s Golden Lions and New Zealand’s Can­ter­bury Cru­saders in Jo­han­nes­burg.

“The se­lec­tion cri­te­ria for all match of­fi­cial ap­point­ments for the last two years fol­lows a clear tour­na­ment pol­icy... that such ap­point­ments be merit-based,” SAN­ZAAR CEO Andy Mari­nos said in a state­ment.

He added that New Zealand’s Glen Jack­son ref­er­eed last year’s fi­nal be­tween the Lions and the Hur­ri­canes in Welling­ton, when the home team lifted the tro­phy. Some ex­perts have ques­tioned the wis­dom of us­ing ref­er­ees from the same coun­try as one of the teams in­volved, with Cru­saders coach Scott Robert­son among those call­ing for the “best neu­tral ref”.

“I’d love a neu­tral ref­eree,” he told New Zealand’s Ra­dio Sport. “Look it’s not my de­ci­sion, but in my opinion it’s more around what’s best for the game. “Let’s get the best neu­tral ref, I just think it’s fair.”

Peyper was also at the cen­tre of con­tro­versy last week when he sin-binned Hur­ri­canes fly-half Beau­den Bar­rett at a key stage of their semi-fi­nal against the Lions in Jo­han­nes­burg. Re­plays sug­gested the pun­ish­ment was harsh but the Lions took full ad­van­tage, scor­ing 17 points to seize the lead while Bar­rett was off the field in the sec­ond half.

“It was a pretty tough de­ci­sion against Beau­den,” for­mer Spring­boks coach Nick Mal­lett said on Su­per­Sport TV at the time. On Satur­day, Peyper will have fel­low South African Mar­ius van der Westhuizen and New Zealan­der Glen Jack­son as his as­sis­tants, while South Africa’s Mar­ius Jonker is the tele­vi­sion match of­fi­cial. — AFP

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