October 9 - RWC 2011 Referee Bryce Lawrence gets blame

RWC 2011 quarter-final – Australia win – just

Australia won on the scoreboard but many of the game’s statistics were in South Africa’s favour. Some Springbok supporter’s were unhappy with the performance of New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence and made their feelings known, strongly enough for Lawrence to opt out of officiating in South Africa during Super Rugby 2012. He retired at the end of that season, having refereed over 200 first class games.

“Originally a school headmaster, Lawrence took up refereeing in 1994, following in footsteps of his father, Keith Lawrence, who had been an international rugby union referee from 1985 to 1991.[2]Making his first class debut in 1997,[1] Bryce took charge of his first Super Rugby match in 2005, controlling a game between the Crusaders and Chiefs.[3] His more notable matches in charge include the 2008 Super 14 semi-final between the Waratahs and the Sharks, the final of the 2008 Air New Zealand Cup and two test matches involving Australia and South Africa in the 2008 Tri Nations. Lawrence refereed his first Tri Nations matches during the 2008 series.

Lawrence refereed the first British & Irish Lions test during their 2009 tour of South Africa and was an assistant referee in the second test. He refereed the Six Nations France versus England match in 2010.

Bryce Lawrence refereed the quarterfinal in the 2011 rugby world cup between South Africa and Australia. He allegedly received threats from South African supporters and refused to referee there during the 2012 Super Rugby season. Lawrence was dropped from the nine-man elite panel in 2012.[4]

During the 2012 ITM Cup Lawrence refereed his 200th first class match. The milestone was played between Wellington and Taranaki Rugby Football Union. He is only the fourth New Zealand referee to reach the double century milestone with former New Zealand referees Paddy O’Brien (221 matches), Paul Honiss (220) and now Australian referee Steve Walsh (210) doing so before him. The 200th match was supposedly Lawrence’s last match but due to other referees retaining injuries Lawrence refereed the semi-final of the 2012 ITM Cup.

He announced his retirement in 2012, motivated partly by reactions to his self-acknowledged poor performance in the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final match between South Africa and Australia.”


Rugby World Cup 2011: South Africa 9-11 Australia

By Simon Austin BBC Sport

South Africa (3) 9

  • Pens: Steyn 2

  • Drops: Steyn

Australia (8) 11

  • Tries: Horwill

  • Pens: O’Connor 2

Australia skipper James Horwill scored the only try of the match

Australia knocked champions South Africa out of the World Cup with a remarkable quarter-final victory.

The Springboks dominated possession and territory in Wellington, yet failed to capitalise on their clear superiority.

Winger James O’Connor struck the decisive penalty in the 72nd minute, while his captain James Horwill scored the game’s only try early on.

Fly-half Morne Steyn struck all of South Africa’s points, with two penalties and a drop-goal.

South Africa, with the experienced Victor Matfield outstanding in the line-out, had 76% territory in the match and denied Australia much possession throughout the game.

And when the two-time champions did get the ball, fly-half Quade Cooper often kicked it away.

But Wallabies coach Robbie Deans paid tribute to his side after the final whistle, saying: “What you saw was the most experienced side in the world really turn the screws on the youngsters.

“The boys came of age in the way they took on that challenge and stood up to that.”

Australia were able to stay in contention through a combination of superb spoiling at the breakdown, with flanker David Pocock again to the fore, and a lack of South African precision.

The Springboks’ lack of control at the breakdown proved particularly costly after 11 minutes when Horwill bullocked over from close range.

The Boks had a line-out close to their own line and chose to run the ball. Schalk Burger spilled the ball in contact though and Australia quickly capitalised, with a neat offload from Adam Ashley-Cooper allowing Horwill to power over from close range.

On a sunny day in Wellington, both sides seemed committed to running rugby. It was Australia’s back line that carried the greater threat when they did have the ball, with full-back Kurtley Beale and winger James O’Connor particularly incisive.

Both players had thrilling runs from deep in the first half, sending the South African defence scrambling desperately.

South Africa thought they had drawn level early after the interval, when the impressive Jean de Villiers sent Patrick Lambie sprinting over the line, but his pass was adjudged to have been forward. It was a marginal decision.

Steyn responded well, with a penalty and well-taken drop-goal that sent South Africa into the lead, but it was O’Connor who struck the decisive blow eight minutes from time.

Touch judge Roman Poite adjudged that Danie Rossouw had pulled Radike Samo down in the line-out, handing Australia a shot at goal from a difficult angle and distance.

O’Connor made it look straightforward though, calmly sweeping the ball throught the posts and sending his side through to a tantalising trans-tasman semi-final against hosts New Zealand.

South Africa: Lambie, Pietersen, Fourie, de Villiers, Habana, M. Steyn, du Preez, Steenkamp, Smit, J. du Plessis, Rossouw, Matfield, Brussow, Burger, Spies.

Replacements: Hougaard for Habana (49), B. du Plessis for Smit (49), Louw for Brussow (20), Alberts for Burger (14).

Australia: Beale, O’Connor, Ashley-Cooper, McCabe, Ioane, Cooper, Genia, Kepu, Moore, Alexander, Vickerman, Horwill, Elsom, Pocock, Samo.

Replacements: A. Faingaa for Beale (75), Barnes for McCabe (52), Slipper for Kepu (69), Polota-Nau for Moore (63), Sharpe for Vickerman (54), McCalman for Samo (72).