IRB statement following NZ v SA match


Following an initial review, the IRB confirms that it was incorrect for referee Romain Poite to issue a yellow card to Bismarck du Plessis in the 17th minute of The Rugby Championship match between New Zealand and South Africa in Auckland on Saturday.


Just as players and coaches make mistakes, the decision was an unfortunate case of human error by the match officials, who, having reviewed the match, fully recognise and accept that they made a mistake in the application of law.

All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the IRB and are considered when appointments are made for future test matches.

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Sorry IRB, it does not work like that. In a situation where a player being sent off (yellow or red card) would be the result, a review by the TMO MUST be a prerequisite at least. The referee can view the replay on the big screen with is assistant as well and a consensus can be reached.

    This was not an honest mistake, more like a pisstake. As I said last week, Poite is an idiot.

  2. @Craven: Agree and the idiot could not even remember the scrum sequins.

    Don’t care about what they say, the game is gone and we would never know what would have happened. This ref should be ban from every getting onto the pitch again, for me ban all Frog refs as all of them are useless and cannot even communicate properly to players.

    They should make it a rule that all frog refs should take English 101.

  3. @Morné:

    you never know…

    Anyway – ref made a mistake. #1 from his vantage point he did not see an arm hence fair call/mistake, can happen to anyone.
    #2 after the incident shown on the big screen he could/should have over-ruled his decision which he did not do – that is unforgivable IMO.

    My opinion on the incident. For those who say it is not an honest mistake and he should be fired then you should fire every player to ever make a mistake…

  4. Last night when me and a Bull friend watch the WP vs Bulls game and we saw another red card, we felt to switch the TV off and put the meat on the fire.

    Out of our discussions on the incident, we though that IRB should look at even if it is in a refs eyes a red card that he should issue a yellow and give a red card for investigation after the game.

    This will allow the team to only play with 14 men for 10 men but the player will face the full force of the law afterwards.

    This could keep the game a contest at least.

  5. The solution is simple.

    Cards should be used to punish the player only. He’s out for the rest of the game, and also face possible further suspensions, but he may be replaced on the field so we still have a match.

  6. @Timeo:

    great so get in a player (last game ever or ex-con) to do one thing and one thing only – comes on, takes out the best opposition player and walks off with the team not getting penalised?


    It would make more sense for the hit-man to knee-cap the player in a dark alley before the game.
    It could be done under the current system also. The risks for whomever tries it stays the same.

    Some in NZ would say, this has been done already.

  8. Also the free kick where Barrit moved forward when Pineaar & Etzbeth got him ref blew it off.
    Poite’s head just wasn’t in it in any way.

  9. I can’t tell Bunny. I thought that was the situation last week in OZ with Clancey.

    Such a shame this marquis matchup was literally pulverized into a festival rugby demo.

    Morne was spot on with his comments on momentum. Boks were cooking when Bis got taken off first time. I believe they would have worn them down.

  10. As I said previously Poite is an idiot. He has a history of ignoring the TMO option and how he can continue to ref high profile matches just shows the absolute joke refereeing under the IRB has become.

    In the Scotland game two tries scored by the Scots were suspect. IN the first try there was a knock-on in the movement (pointed out to Poite by SA players) before the try was scored. Poite refused to have that reviewed by the TMO.

    In the second instance there was blatant obstruction of Siya Kolisi where he ws held back in the run up to the scoring of the try. This was infact pointed out to Poite by the TMO at the time, but he chose to ignore it.

    What came of this? Nothing, he was not even sanctioned.

    And yet the IRB expects players and coaches to just suck it up and not comment on match officials after the game, even if this might cost them their jobs, positions, money, sponsorships, etc. No accountability on the side of the IRB, nothing at all.

    Absolutely farcical.

  11. Another thing, after the Bismarck tackle on Carter, George Ayhoub is clearly heard saying “No foul play”, to Poite in relation to the tackle, after which Poite dismissed this as he only wanted Ayhoub to look at the scuffle after the tackle.

  12. @Craven:

    BS – Poite asked the TMO for any foul play AFTER the tackle in which the TMO said “No foul Play” but what he added was Go AHEAD with your original decision!
    TMO should IMO have said “regarding the tackle – it was fine!”