Rugby Union


ACT robbed: SANZAR

SANZAR officials have all but accepted responsibility for a farcical refereeing blunder that cost the ACT Brumbies victory in Sunday's 36-34 Super Rugby defeat to the Bulls, labelling CJ Stander's try a ''stone-cold mistake''.

But they've chosen to back South African referee Marius Jonker for his overall performance despite Brumbies coach Jake White openly questioning the heavily lopsided penalty count of 14 to six.

The Brumbies came achingly close to pulling off the upset of the season after outscoring the Bulls five tries to two at their lauded fortress of Loftus Versfeld Stadium to finish up just two points adrift at the final siren.

But SANZAR game manager Lyndon Bray admitted yesterday the Bulls' second try was awarded in error - with both Jonker and assistant referees Lourens van der Merwe and Stefan Breytenbach missing a clear knock-on from Morne Steyn.

Stander ran on to score from the midfield after everyone else - including his Bulls teammates - stopped and waited for a whistle.

''That particular error is just a stone-cold mistake,'' Bray said.


''He's just got to put his hand up and say 'we got it completely wrong'.

''That was between the assistant referee and the referee and that cost seven points.

''And that probably colours the overall view of the performance because of that mistake.''

White has demanded a please-explain from SANZAR, disputing the number of penalties that were awarded against his squad. In the end, they proved the difference, with Steyn notching a game-saving 26 points off his own boot.

''I need to know what we have done wrong or what we need to change,'' White said.

''It's like any feedback - it's very hard to start changing things if everything I see is OK.''

Bray and White were due to speak on the phone late yesterday to review the match, ahead of the Brumbies' last clash in South Africa against the Lions tomorrow morning. AAP