The Springboks’ luck in the 2019 Rugby World Cup may have run out when the referees for the Rugby World Cup semi-finals were announced. Both the Springboks and their fans will not be happy with the fact that Frenchman Jerome Garces will be referee in their semi-final contest against Wales on Sunday in Yokohama.
Garces, who was the referee in the Springboks opening match of the tournament against the All Blacks , management of the scrum is a cause for serious concern.
The Springboks have historically struggled with Garces permissive style of refereeing, which does not reward the strong aspects of their game. Garces has taken charge of 14 Springbok test matches, with the South Africans losing ten of those.
He has overseen one match between the Springboks and Wales with the Dragons coming out on top on that occasion.
Welshman Nigel Owens will take charge of the England-New Zealand match on Saturday.
Meanwhile, All Blacks coach, Steve Hansen, has fired a shot at the Six Nations countries to abandon their self-interest and try to work with World Rugby to get a global calendar. Hansen says the lack of regular matches between northern and southern hemisphere nations is the reason there is no traditional rivalry between the sides.
“I think we have played England once in the last six years and it’s hard to build a rivalry when you don’t play each other. If we could get the Six Nations to come on board with a global season then we might able to do that.”
Former All-Blacks fullback, Israel Dagg, says relentless competition for places has been the driving force for New Zealand’s success. New Zealand, winners of the last two World Cups, have looked their dominating and ruthless best in the hunt for a third successive title.
Dagg, who was part of New Zealand’s World Cup winning squad in 2011, says he has been impressed with the All Blacks so far.
“I think this team (New Zealand) is very competitive at the moment. You have got guys in the squad that could play in any other team, but they are not even starting in the All Blacks. That is just what it means; nobody is given the jersey, you have got to earn it, you have got to work hard for it and if you are not performing, then someone else will take that opportunity.”
Stalwarts such as Sonny Bill Williams and Reiko Ioane have found themselves warming the bench for the All Blacks so far in Japan. They’ve been replaced in the starting line-up by the likes of Jack Goodhue and Sevu Reece.