Keep foul play out the game
The Boks will face France on their end-of-year rugby tour on this weekend and if past battles between these nations are anything to go by then South Africa stands a good chance of winning.
The stats may favour South Africa who have won 26 of the 43 Tests they have played against France - who only notched 11 victories. Six of the games were played to a draw.
But rugby is not played based on statistics and the last time the sides met the Boks secured a narrow 18-17 win. This may give a sign that it will not be an easy day at the office in Paris.
No doubt the nations will be looking beyond the outcome, with their their sights firmly set on the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
Rassie Erasmus would love to see his men up their game and not fritter their chances as they did against England in Twickenham last weekend.
France, with their open running play, will give the Bok camp a run for their money.
Rugby is also a contact sport and we should expect some bonecrunching tackles in a clash which will be furiously contested. Hopefully, we will not witness another shambolic refereeing decisions as we did in the dying moments of the Test against England.
Australian referee Angus Gardner was roundly condemned for not acting harshly against England forward Owen Farrell after he shoulder-tackled Andre Esterhuizen. His tackle was not only illegal but it was also dangerous.
Rugby law makes it clear that “a player must not charge or knock down an opponent carrying the ball without attempting to grasp that player”.
Farrell did not do so and deserved sanction – most probably a ban.
That a referee of Gardner’s experience failed to act appropriately is shocking.
What is even more worrying is the silence from World Rugby, the governing body. There have been inconsistencies in applying the tackle law, with some players slapped with match bans while the likes of Farrell got off scot-free.
This week Erasmus jokeds that if that tackle was “legal” then the Boks could try it against opponents.
This should not be condoned by anyone as it may pave the way for life-threatening tackles.
Referees should be the first line of defence to ensure players are protected and the poor decisions such as that displayed by Gardner should be censured.
Now that the world’s attention is on rough-house tackles, the Boks should tread carefully they do no fall foul of the rules.
Hopefully, we should not witness another shambolic refereeing decision as we did in the Test against England