1 Oct 2011

Samoa captain lashes out at refereeing

5:48 pm on 1 October 2011

Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger blamed inconsistent refereeing after his team suffered the first red card of the Rugby World Cup and exited the tournament following a 13-5 loss to South Africa.

Samoa dominated possession and territory for long spells during the hard-fought match at North Harbour Stadium on Friday, while the Springboks ran up a 13-0 lead before Samoa adapted and took the game to their opponents.

Schwalger said Welsh referee Nigel Owens was pretty hard on Samoa and if a few calls had gone the other way they could have scored more points against the South Africans.

The Samoa captain believed the referee allowed the Springboks too much freedom. "They were slowing our ball down and you have to be fair on us as well."

Owens irked the Samoans further with his decision to send off fullback Paul Williams with 11 minutes remaining after he struck Springbok flanker Heinrich Brussow.

Schwalger was unhappy at the way the flanker appeared to make the most of the incident. "There was a little bit of acting there, there was nothing in that, the red card was a little bit harsh," the hooker said.

Sapolu vents feelings on Twitter

Samoan centre Eliota Sapolu has vented his feelings once again on Twitter.

Last week he had to apologise for Tweets comparing the IRB's treatment of the minnows to slavery and the holocaust.

Now he has slated rugby's ruling body again on the social messaging network along with harsh criticism of Owens' refereeing on Friday.

Sapolu harshly criticised Nigel Owens, the Welsh referee in last night's loss to the Springboks, Tweeting various obscenities aimed at the IRB and Owens.

Springboks share the sentiments

However, it was not just the Samoans who were unhappy with the refereeing.

Springbok replacement John Smit was shown a yellow card moments after Williams had departed for a deliberate knock on when attempting an intercept pass.

The hooker didn't help his case by then kicking the ball away to prevent the Samoans from restarting the game quickly.

"It was a stupid decision to get him off the field, I don't think he deserved the yellow card," Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said.

The two cards came after a number of scuffles between the two sides with Schwalger involved in some pushing and shoving with Burger and Jannie du Plessis in the first half.

Springbok captain Victor Matfield said that he was disappointed that the incidents were not picked up by the officials and praised his players for keeping their cool.

The win means the Springboks become the first team to join the All Blacks in the quarter-finals.