Stats back referee Joubert

SANZAR will decide today whether to act on statements by Stormers captain Schalk Burger and coach Allister Coetzee about the handling of the Super 14 final by referee Craig Joubert, but statistics prove the allegations to be groundless.

SANZAR will decide today whether to act on statements by Stormers captain Schalk Burger and coach Allister Coetzee about the handling of the Super 14 final by referee Craig Joubert, but statistics prove the allegations to be groundless.

The statistics, provided by South Africa's refereeing boss André Watson, make it clear there was no "coaching" of the Bulls by Joubert at the breakdowns as alleged by Burger, who said Joubert applied two sets of laws.

Watson said: "I looked at whether there were grounds for the allegations. According to the reports Craig Joubert allegedly 'coached' the Bulls while the Stormers were simply penalised.

"With that as background, I went through every clip of the match - we have the technology to do so - and came to the following conclusions. There were 167 rucks in the match. The Stormers took the ball in 85 times and the Bulls did so on 82 occasions. Craig (Joubert) spoke 25 times to the Stormers and 28 times to the Bulls at the breakdowns. He did not repeat any warning (on any occasion). He warned both sides only once, where it was applicable.

"The Bulls were penalised seven times at the breakdowns and the Stormers twice. Every penalty but two, where he penalised immediately, came after warnings to the offending side."

l Brumbies flyhalf Matt Giteau was fined R32000 after criticising referee Steve Walsh's handling of their Super 14 match against the Waratahs. - Sapa

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