IRB: Poite needs to ref Boks


International-Rugby-Board-IRB-logo1The International Rugby Board (IRB) has defended its decision to allow controversial French referee, Romain Poite, to take charge of a Springbok Test later this year.

The Boks start their season with a match against a World XV on June 7 (venue to be confirmed but believed to be in Cape Town).

They then tackle Wales in consecutive Tests (Durban, June 14 and Nelspruit, June 21) before concluding the Incoming Series with a match against Scotland in Port Elizabeth on June 28.

The referees and officials for the June Test window were named on Tuesday with Poite scheduled to take charge of the June 14 Test at Kings Park. He will also be assistant referee for the Tests in Nelspruit and Port Elizabeth.

Poite was persona non grata in South Africa last year after he incorrectly gave Bok hooker Bismarck du Plessis a yellow card against the All Blacks in Auckland.

The IRB’s head of referees, Joël Jutge, defended the decision, saying it’s needed for Poite to referee another Springbok Test, especially with next year’s World Cup in mind as it’s almost certain their paths will cross again.

Jutge told the Beeld website that Poite had publicly admitted to making a mistake and was “punished” by not getting any top level Tests in November last year. The only Test awarded to the Frenchman was a match between Georgia and Samoa in Tbilisi in Eastern Europe.

“The South African rugby public is very passionate, but they know the game. They won’t forget the mistake, but I’m of the opinion that he won’t feel unwelcome in South Africa,” said Jutge.

SARU CEO, Jurie Roux, said they expressed concern about the appointment, but respected the IRB’s call.

“We accept the IRB’s logical way of thinking. Romain, who is one of the top referees in the world, knows he made a big mistake.

“(But) we have to move on because he will take charge of another Springbok Test in the near future,” said Roux.

In the Test at Eden Park in September last year, Poite showed Du Plessis a yellow card in the 16th minute for a perfectly legal tackle on All Black flyhalf Dan Carter.

He then showed Du Plessis a second yellow – and a subsequent red card – for leading with an elbow which connected with the throat of flank Liam Messam.

The Boks fought manfully for close on 50 minutes with only 14 players at their disposal, eventually going down 29-15.

The IRB afterwards released a statement saying Poite was wrong in his decision to give Du Plessis his first yellow card

Source: Sport24

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


  1. Poite will be very much in the limelight at the test, which is sad. He will be under immense pressure and that could lead to mistakes. He has openly admitted to the mistake last year and gave a public apology, that should be enough, but in the mind of the average yet passionate Bok supporter, he will remain a villain whether he has a good game or not.

    He will endure unjust criticism after the game for any 50/50 call that doesnt go the boks way, be booed for every penalty against the Boks. Really a pressure cooker the IRB has dumped him in, better way would’ve been to give him a Bok test overseas somewhere. Fact is he messed up, but fact is he is an international referee that will cross paths with the Boks again, just think the IRB dropped the ball by giving him a Bok game in SA as his first game refereeing the Boks after the NZ nightmare last year.

    Here’s me hoping we as a public can move on and judge his performance fairly, but I strongly doubt that. We will probably only be happy if he completely blows in favour of the Boks and then call it fair. Live doesnt work that way, but then passion allways clouds objective views.

    This past weekend I feel Craig Joubert had a good game, probably missed one or 2 things, but all in all he was good maybe even favouring the Bulls in the second half, yet I see plenty of Bulls supporters blaming him for the draw. That is unfair, the reason for the draw was complacency and to many changes at once and also a loss of concentration, which the Chiefs must be commended for grabbing. It gave them a chance to run at us from their own 22, twice scoring in the last 6 minutes. Really good play from them to grab the oppertunity, yet Joubert gets blamed. Like I said, our passion allways seems to override common sense.

  2. I mean hell, the Bulls got a penalty try from a maul, which in my mind was just from the way the maul was going, but very few ref’s would’ve given the penalty try, rather they would’ve awarded a penalty and maybe give a yellow card. Ja nee, Joubert really screwed us over.

  3. I actually think that it is a bad thing for Wales and they gonna get the short end of the stick here…..

    He will tend with the crowd and what happen last year to favour the Boks

  4. @Aldo: Me think referee standard right through the Super Rugby has been the worst it ever was. The referee that really is the best of the rest for these days is Steve Welsh Jnr, and he can be an idiot as well sometimes.

  5. Haha Ollie, I reckon Bryce has been wiped out of the minds of the standard bok supporter after poite became public enemy number 1. We love to hate refs in SA.

  6. @Aldo:

    I think ref bashing is lame. For every ref mistake towards ‘my’ team I can often show 2 times my team could have been penalised but was not.

  7. My problem with referees as I picked up since the start is the basics is lacking, putting ball in straight in lineouts and scrums, players coming from the side and playing players off the ball in rucks.

    This off course is for both teams at most of the games. In that sense referring was poor the last few weeks.

  8. @Jacques(Bunny):

    Refs need to be held to a high standardof officiating. The era we are in is of professional nature and it 100% right that teams, fans and management apply pressure to referees.

    They have elected to take up a high pressure high profile job in which literally millions of dollars can ride on their skill at providing fair judgement.

    Bunny my view is that Mike Fraser who officiated the Bulls v Sharks and Sharks v Waratahs games is soo far the best ref I have seen.


    That penallty try was so oobvious my sister in law’s daughter’s boyfriend who has Downs Syndrome called it before it was even awarded…

    Okay so Brendon let me get this straight….

    Because a ref makes doublle the miistakes it is actually not okay to criticise them?

    Sorry noot buying it.

    Again as I said before… as with rugby sides…

    A ref is expected to be perfect for just on 90 minutes a week…

    That is all…

    It is NOT too much to ask for.

  9. Dawie I agree that refs need to be held accountable but I do think the irb are far more proactive thesedays.

    Fans blaming refs for losses is a different matter.

    This culture filters down to young players who now at under 10 level can be heard complaining about the ref, and after the game can have a nice bitching sesession with dad who is all too keen to vent in front of the son.

    It’s a dangerous game.

  10. @Aldo:

    “Like I said, our passion allways seems to override common sense.”

    Goes especially for the Snor City crowd.

  11. I think Poite deserved his lashes. He destroyed the most awaited for test of the year & insured a farce in the follow up.
    All that being said….I’m friends with Jesus & insist on seeing Romaine through His eyes.
    So I’m pulling for that little hunchback in hopes he catches a break from the fans & his calls are divinely inspired guiding him on his road to….
    Best to you Senor Poite !

  12. I knew I liked your comments for a reason Americano. One can see the joy in all of them. The joy of the Lord is my strentgh comes to mind.

    But yes I agree, I hope he gets a fair chance to prove that it was a poor test but he isnt a poor ref.

  13. Lol Aldo. I said I was friends with Jesus….never said he didn’t hail a cab when he sees me running in his direction – He seems to have this 6th sense that I’m not running that way becuase I just won the lottery.

    I do like to play & conciously choose joy each day over fear hence my fondness for the Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux – whose play is the manifestation of that on the pitch.

    To this end I will continue to pray for your soul’s deliverance from the evil clutches of Zee Bulls…futile as it may be.
    Sometimes ya just gotta say inshallah

  14. Haha Americano, luckily He doesnt roll that way. He loves us even though we fail Him.

    As for Zee Bulls as you call them, they are the perfect example of joyous celebration!

  15. @Boertjie:


    Given it was WP fans making death threats to Willie Roos that made him retire and the “Snor Citiy Crowd” have never managed to do that to a ref that is quite rich…