British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has urged World Rugby to take action against Rassie Erasmus as the Springboks’ second Test win was overshadowed by a number of controversial incidents – including questions about whether Stuart Hogg may have bitten Willie le Roux.
Gatland says that the Lions now face a “cup final” in the third Test with the Springboks dominating a second half, which they won 21-0, with tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am. South Africa, however, got the rub of the green with Cheslin Kolbe getting only a yellow card for taking Conor Murray out in the air.
A number of players could now miss the third Test with the citing commissioner likely to take action against Kolbe and Lions full-back Hogg also potentially facing an investigation for a bizarre incident involving Le Roux midway through the first half.
Video footage showed Hogg coming into close contact with his opposite number by pressing his face against his arm. Le Roux reacted angrily, pushing Hogg in the head before the two squared up for a second time. It is not known if the Springboks full-back made a formal complaint.
The build-up to the match was dominated by Springbok director of rugby Erasmus releasing an hour-long scathing critique of Australian referee Nic Berry’s performance in the first Test, which the Lions won 22-17. Despite Rugby Australia describing the unprecedented attack as “unacceptable”, World Rugby have thus far only said they noted the comments and will raise it with the South Africa Rugby Union.
But it set the tone for intense scrutiny on the decision-making of referee Ben O’Keeffe and his team of officials. None of them appeared to see the incident between Hogg and Le Roux, which arose after Kolbe’s tackle on Murray. The Springboks wing was confronted by Maro Itoje and Tom Curry and appeared to lash out at the latter after being provoked, which triggered a mass skirmish between both sets of players.
Other incidents that may find themselves subject of review include a tackle from scrum-half Faf de Klerk on opposite number Murray, which was briefly looked at by the officials before being deemed legal despite suggestions of a high tackle that left the Irish half-back injured on the turf.
Another incident saw Damian de Allende, the South African centre, lash out at Itoje after the lock was seen with his knee towards the throat of the Springbok as he lay on the ground.
Lions head coach Gatland said afterwards that World Rugby must intervene more forcefully to protect the integrity of the game rather than allow their referees to be subject to trial by social media. “Look, I hope it doesn’t happen,” Gatland said. “We’ve got systems and processes in place and hopefully World Rugby does look at that in terms of making sure that everyone follows the protocols and I think that’s important. We do press conferences and try and give feedback and information and we deal with the referees through World Rugby. That’s the process.
“I hope it doesn’t get to a situation where we end up with things on Twitter, and people airing their views in that way and not through the proper channels. I found it quite strange that that approach was taken, but it is definitely not something that I will get involved in. It is important that we keep the integrity in the game as much as we possibly can.”
Usain Bolt Offers Sha’Carri Richardson Some Tough Advice Following Multiple Meet Losses
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is offering some words of wisdom to rising track star Sha’Carri Richardson following the young athlete’s fall from grace.
During a recent interview with the New York Post, the eight-time Olympic gold medalist was asked about the 21-year-old whose stellar performance in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at the new Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, last June was quickly overshadowed by a series of incidents, including a failed drug test, which subsequently got her disqualified from the Tokyo games entirely.
Bolt told the media outlet that the best thing the Texas native can do now is stop talking and focus on what really matters. “I would tell Sha’Carri to train harder and to be focused and not say too much…,” he explained. A much speculated lack of media experience ultimately led to a dim in her once fiery fan support. Many have expressed belief that the young star’s trash talk proved damaging to her brand.
“If you talk that big talk you have to back it up,” Bolt continued. The Jamaican-born sprinting phenom added, “So just train hard and focus on that and try to come back, do it and then talk about it.”
On Aug. 21, Richardson finished in last place in the women’s 100 meters as Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah dominated the race. Shortly afterward, an online feud seemingly unraveled between Richardson and Team Jamaican.
Bolt told the outlet he and his fellow Jamaican athletes were not impressed by Richardson’s attitude, considering a rivalry between American and Jamaican sprinters that picked up some steam dating back to at least 2012.
“Jamaicans were vexed because she was talking a lot of s–t before the actual race, it is just one of those things,” he explained. “Jamaicans don’t like when people talk s–t about us because we are a very proud people. So if you talk about us we are gonna want you to back it up. It definitely gave those women the extra push [to win.]”
Richardson has had a few incidents with members of the Caribbean nation. She was offered an all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica by a Jamaican hotel owner, following her loss to Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished second in the Prefontaine race. Many people online found the gesture to be disingenuous.
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