Warren Gatland urges officials to watch out for South African time-wasting in decider as Lions coach wants fewer TMO reviews and stoppages after second test lasted more than TWO HOURS
- Warren Gatland was annoyed by Springboks’ time-wasting in second test
- The Lions coach wants fewer TMO interventions in the series decider
- ‘It felt like at every scrum there was an injury, slowing the game down’, he said
Warren Gatland has pleaded with match officials to clamp down on South African time-wasting during Saturday’s series decider.
After the second Test lasted more than two hours, the Lions coach wants to speed up the tempo with fewer TMO interventions and niggle-enforced stoppages.
Gatland has named a fast-track bench for the finale, including Finn Russell and Sam Simmonds, and will raise his concerns in a meeting with referee Mathieu Raynal.
Warren Gatland has told officials to clamp down on South Africa’s attempts to waste time
The second test lasted two hours due to TMO interventions and niggle-enforced stoppages
‘We had stud changes, we had TMO decisions, we had the referee stopping the game for cramp,’ said Gatland. ‘So that will be one of the things I talk about to the referees this week.
‘It felt like that at every scrum there was an injury, slowing the game down. I think there was something like 14 minutes of TMO time in the game and we’ve worked pretty hard from a conditioning point of view but it was really, really stop-start and that made it frustrating for us.
‘The last thing we need is pushing and grabbing and guys running into people’s backs. I can understand a reaction when players see something happen to their own player and a push can spill over. But we’ve got to make sure that we tidy that up.
‘We want to keep the tempo of the game up to get the ball in at our scrums and get the ball in quickly at lineouts, to play and to get a flow. And South Africa don’t want to do that. Everything is so stop-start that it does make it frustrating.’
‘It felt like every scrum there was an injury, slowing the game down,’ Gatland told reporters
Following Rassie Erasmus’s extraordinary 62-minute video attack on refereeing, almost every decision was sent for a lengthy TMO review during the second Test.
Erasmus will subsequently face a disciplinary hearing but Gatland has been left frustrated that the Lions were also criticised by World Rugby for their comments on the appointment of South African TMO Marius Jonker.
‘The only thing I’m disappointed about in World Rugby’s statement is that they’ve inadvertently dragged us into it,’ said Gatland.
‘We’ve tried to, we think, maintain as much integrity as we can, in terms of not commenting on refereeing. We never questioned the TMO. The only question we asked is why hadn’t World Rugby put a contingency plan in place if people couldn’t travel or got sick. I’m really, really disappointed.’
Meanwhile, Lions prop Kyle Sinckler was cleared of biting South Africa’s Franco Mostert, after a five-hour hearing.