Bryce ‘scared’ of SA


New Zealand rugby referee Bryce Lawrence on Wednesday said he won’t officiate in South Africa if he fears for his safety after his performance at last month’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final between the Springboks and Australia.


Lawrence’s control of the October 9 quarter-final, won 11-9 by Australia to end South Africa’ reign as world champion, was strongly criticised by Springboks players, coaching staff and fans.

Retiring Springboks captain John Smit said “the one positive (of retirement) is that I won’t ever have to be reffed by him again” and a South African fan began a Facebook campaign entitled “Petition To Stop Bryce Lawrence Ever Reffing A Rugby Game Again.”

“I’m not totally concerned,” Lawrence told Radio Sport. “I know a lot of other people like the New Zealand Rugby Union and SANZAR do have some serious concerns.

“In all honesty I’m not going to go over there if there’s any personal threat or I have concerns about my safety because in the end it’s a job, I know that, and also it’s just a sport so I’m not going to put myself at risk.”

Lawrence said he had thought about his performance in the quarter-final every day since the match and accepts he made errors.

“My quarter-final performance created a lot of negative reaction in South Africa, pretty hostile, very personal, very harsh,” he said. “Also, on the flipside of that, I got a lot of really strong positive support from rugby people in New Zealand and around the world who probably know me a little bit more than the people in South Africa and were feeling for me during that time.

“… I was disappointed with some aspects in my own performance that day after refereeing four really pretty strong games in pool play. I’m not blaming anyone for the quarterfinal refereeing display apart from myself. I didn’t referee as well as I could.”

Lawrence said he recognised he would be punished for his performance.

“Look there has been some pretty clear consequences from my quarter-final display,” he said. “I’m not going to be refereeing Six Nations next year.

“They can say that means I’m rested but in reality I accept that one of the consequences of my performance is that I’m not going to be doing Six Nations.”

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  1. … and miss the opportunity to be the first ref to officiate with a ballistic vest? How can anyone not want to grab such an opportunity?

  2. Morné, your title is a bit provocative. I listened to Bryce’s interview and he never said he was scared of going to SA. What he did say was that if there is a perceived threat to his safety he would not go to SA and put himself at risk because of what is afterall just his job. When I was in SA there were also areas I would not go to on account of my job because as a whitey I would be putting myself at risk. Does that make me scared or just cautious?

  3. Why would he be scared?

    This is the most criminal country in the world… an old skelm like him would fit right in with the Cape Spanish gangs and even in jail they’d welcome him to the 28’s!

  4. I wonder if Fikile Mbalula has the guts to get Home Affairs to issue a directive refusing Lawrence a visa to come to South Africa… or even better… like the Indian police our Hawks issue a warrant to question him…

    One can wish… because the only action would come from there whilst the softcosk SARU politicos and feathered nest dwellers would do fuckall.

  5. Oh sorry I forgot

    He has nothing to fear he is the world’s best and perfect referee and was especially brilliant during the World Cup quarterfinal which the bumbling dunbo stupid uncreative moronic factap solid shit Boks threw like a Pakistani cricket side.

  6. To be honest if I saw Bryce Lawrence in Sydney I would give him a mouthful. FOYCCW!!! :Rule 9: So will some of my aussie mates.

    The Australians were up in arms over their loss to Ireland and the ref Bryce again Lawrence was torn to shreds by Australian supporters.

    Question: Is Piet the only supporter to tackle a player or an official on a rugby field in the SAZOO competition?

  7. Reply to Timeo @ 4:13 am: Lol Timeo – getting back to Bryce Lawrence the following may or may not work in SA.It did work in NZ.

    Following the AB’s embarrassing exit from the 2007 RWC, there were a number of kiwis that held the referee Wayne Barnes accountable and he was vilified on social media sites such as Bebo. The IRB and even the PM at the time, Helen Clarke voiced their disapproval but even though most people realised it was the AB’s and coaches that had lost the game and not the referee who had supposedly missed forward pass etc etc. Sounds familiar.

    So to calm the hotheads down the NZRFU last year brought Wayne Barnes out to NZ to referee some of the provincial games and it seems to have worked. Could we see Bryce Lawrence being asked by SARFU to referee say WP v Free State next season as a crowd pacifier?

  8. Reply to Timeo @ 4:13 am:

    Luckily for dumbo chops like me MMA exercises can be drilled into you by repetition… no brain required… all instinct.

    I’d be glad to give lessons… or just demonstrate.

    Didn’t some drunken Samoan try to tackle Louis Koen in the 2003 RWC when he lined up a conversion in the Bok v Samoa game?

    The guy Boertjie was thinking of is Brain Baanhoff and he tackled FC Smit.

    An incredible season finale that he changed in one tackle.

    FC Smit was thundering towards the line. A win by WP would see them meet Northern Transvaal in the final.

    Baanhoff tackles him. Free State wins and sets up a midweek play off against WP to determine who meets Northern Transvaal on the Saturday.

    Free State wins the play off via an amazing last minute try set up from his own line by 19 year old Jannie De Beer

    But three games in eight days is too much and they fold in the final.