- Bitter Springbok supporters were given something to make them feel sicker after the crushing 35-23 loss to the All Blacks last Saturday
- A video of a phase of play has emerged from the game showed that referee Luke Pearce - already a divisive figure - might have made a decisive error
- South Africa's best player on the afternoon Lukhanyo Am was denied a legitimate try in the early stages of an absorbing Test classic
If you are a Springbok supporter trying to forget Saturday's stinging 35-23 loss to a resilient All Blacks side in the Rugby Championship, there is another bitter to swallow, unfortunately.
South Africa lost a match in which many wounds were self-inflicted, some were through slick Kiwi magic, while others were either fairly or unfairly attributed to referee Luke Pearce, who handled an epic excellently regardless of any error he might have made.
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One such has been dissected on YouTube by a channel called TASanalytics, where a legitimate Lukhanyo Am was disallowed following a "knock-on" by prop Ox Nche from a Kiwi tackle effected by Sam Whitelock.
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The caption reads:
The ball gets ripped by the New Zealand defender, yet the ref says it was knocked on by South Africa. New Zealand then tries to play the ball and makes a mistake that leads to Lukhanyo Am picking the Ball up and scoring an easy try. But, because the ref deemed it a knock-on, the ball was brought back and the try disallowed. Siya Kolisi clearly disagreed with the ref and asked him to go upstairs to check it again, but Luke Pearce was adamant that it was a knock-on and then shut Kolisi down."
Then the replays show and it clearly shows the ball being ripped by the New Zealand defender which meant it should never have been a knock on and it should've been play on. That was a try-scoring opportunity taken away from South Africa. The thing that frustrates me is that Luke Pearce was so confident and arrogant about his decision, that he refused to check it and he was clearly wrong as the replays showed.
Rugby Championship: All Blacks end losing streak with good win against the Springboks
Two tries in the last five minutes enabled the All Blacks to overcome a strong comeback by the Springboks as they ended their three-match losing sequence with a deserved 35-23 Castle Lager Rugby championship win at Emirates Airlines Park on Saturday.
As reported by Sports Brief, it looked as though the Boks had recovered from a poor start and a 15-0 deficit when Handre Pollard kicked the penalty, putting them in the lead for the first time in the game in the 68th minute.
However, the effort of fighting back might have sucked in the Bok energy while the All Blacks are renowned for winning late on the highveld, and there should have been a sense of dejavu for those who remember some of the other games played in Gauteng over the past 12 years.