A few Lions players were unhappy with the officials following their 37-23 Super Rugby loss to the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
According to the Beeld website, some Lions players felt the aura surrounding Sharks Director of Rugby, Jake White, intimidated the officials.
The players spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being punished, but were clearly unhappy after a few decisions went against their side.
The Lions were upset after centre Stefan Watermeyer was penalised after he and Sharks wing Lwazi Mvovo jumped for an up-and-under – and Waterwayer was penalised after Mvovo was sent tumbling.
Referee Jaco Peyper awarded a penalty to the hosts for dangerous play on the part of Watermeyer who at no stage took his eyes off the ball as replays – which Peyper viewed – were shown on the ‘big screen’.
Commentator and former Springbok skipper Bob Skinstad called the decision “rubbish” live on air, after Peyper explained to a perplexed Lions captain Warren Whiteley that because Mvovo had “jumped first”, Watermeyer had a duty to ensure he took due care and that he, essentially, couldn’t contest the ball.
The incident took place at a crucial stage of the match as the Lions had narrowed the deficit to 30-23 and the Sharks were down to 14 men.
In another incident, Watermeyer was chasing a kick and looked likely to score, but was held back by a Sharks player, according to coach Johan Ackermann.
“I only want them to make more use of the referral system. It is there, why not use it more? It is very frustrating.
“It’s no use apologising for officials’ mistakes on the Monday after a video analysis is done. By then it’s too late and the damage is done.
“It’s not a nice feeling going home with nothing. I feel we deserved something [a bonus point] out of this game,” said Ackermann.
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