‘Referees Have Always Been Scrutinised, It’s Just In Vogue At The Moment’ – AWJ Responds To Erasmus
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British and Irish Lions skipper Alun Wyn Jones was up for media today and of course, he was asked about Rassie Erasmus’ stunning one-hour video that highlights what he felt were errors in officiating against the Springboks in the first Test.
Jones was drawn in two much as he has not seen much of the video due to training this morning, noting that he had more important issued to deal with “between the white lines” ahead of this weekend’s second Test, but he did have a few comments to make.
In terms of Rassie’s overall decision to release the quite astonishing and unprecedented video, Jones said it highlights the “passion” within the game.
“I think it highlights the passion and the commitment that people have to the sport,” Jones told us.
“Right or wrong, the method, it’s not for me to comment on, but ultimately, the sport is in a good place and hopefully, it can go forward in a good place as well.
On the specifics, Jones once again wasn’t drawn in too much but noted that he felt he did not receive special treatment from the officials after Erasmus claimed the Lions skipper was treated more favourably thank Springboks captain Siya Kolisi.
“It’s probably a question for the officials,” Jones said.
“In the heat of the moment, it didn’t really feel as if we had any advantage because a lot of the time I was standing there next to Siya when we were speaking to the refs, etc. So that’s an outside perception that I probably can’t really comment on.”
Jones added that the game has changed at that it’s very difficult for referees to spot everything these days given the sheer speed of play.
“I just think the game has changed and I think it does get difficult for players the way the speed of the game is going, the ball in play and I think sometimes the refs have the hardest job in the game in the middle of all that,” Jones added.
“They obviously have assistance and you have a TMO and I think more than ever decisions are being focused on but it’s always been the way.
“I think they’ve always been scrutinised, I just think it’s probably in vogue at the moment and obviously it’s been highlighted by some this past week.”