Refs won't turn a blind eye
September 19, 1999
News emerges from the World Cup camp that referees will not turn a blind eye to infringements simply to help the game flow.
Overheard at the Springbok training camp in Plettenberg Bay, Andre Watson, South Africa's only referee in the tournament, said: "I think we will referee as close as possible to the letter of the law. It's the safest, People want to see expansive rugby, but they don't want to see it when their team lose 14-16 and the referee overlooks a penalty in the last minutes because he wants the game to flow."
He went on: "I think they will want us to ensure a fair contest at all times. By that I mean looking out for things like putting the ball in straight in the line-outs and scrums and so on. Players will be careful of running the ball because they will be scared of making mistakes. As far as the referees are concerned, I don't think it's going to be our job to try to make a game of it."