Coaches warned over criticism of referees
July 16, 2013
Chris Pollock was one official slammed after the weekend's matches © Getty Images
Super Rugby bosses have announced that they have had enough of coaches criticising referees and anyone who oversteps the line is likely to be punished.
The news comes the day after New Zealand referee Chris Pollock was dropped for the Super Rugby play-offs because of poor form. He is just one of the officials who have had to endure a stream of whinging from disgruntled coaches. At the weekend several openly slammed referees after matches.
"We don't want to stifle debate on the game," SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters told Rugby365. "There's no problem with a genuinely held belief that a decision was wrong, using temperate language. However, if it goes to questioning the integrity of the referee or is abusive or insulting [language] that is when it is of more concern to us."
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, who has already been fined this season for remarks, must have been in Peters' thoughts. After his team's win at the weekend he blamed refereeing decisions for his side's failure to reach the play-offs. Blues coach John Kirwan, meanwhile, laid into Pollock after a red-card controversy, while Waratahs' Michael Cheika suggested officials were turning the game into "touch rugby".
Peters made clear that all comments would now be closely monitored and anyone stepping out of line would be swiftly dealt with.
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