OPINION: 'Angus Gardner made the right call'
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OPINION: 'Angus Gardner made the right call'

The Springboks have started their tour up north with a disappointing result against England. Fans have gone on to blame match official, Angus Gardner for the defeat.

supersport shoulder charge pic
Springboks vs England at Twickenham / Twitter

Usually, when you go to Twickenham as the away team, you don’t use the word “disappointing” after losing because England is pretty decent at home. In this case, though, the Springboks are bitterly disappointed because England didn’t beat them, but they beat themselves.

The biggest talking point after the match was match official Mr Angus Gardner, a man who has been wrongly blamed for the defeat.

But wait a minute. Are we gonna ignore the fact that we should’ve buried the match in the first half? Are we gonna sidestep the fact that when Mark Itoje got sent to the naughty chair we failed to capitalise? It was England who won that 10-minute period with a successful penalty to make it 3-3.

Oh yes, Malcolm Marx, the man dubbed as the best hooker in the world, failed to find his jumpers four times in the red zone with the Boks destined for maybe a try or two.

Also as much as I understand building for the World Cup and giving players a taste of Test Rugby, but surely Rassie Erasmus has to learn to stop giving these cheap caps with players coming off the bench for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Can someone tell me why he changed S’bu Nkosi? Ivan van Zyl was having an outstanding game but gets subbed for Embrose Papier. 

What business does Elton Jantjies have to play in a tight match like this when Pollard is having a game of his life? Instead, we as South Africans will put the blame on a refereeing decision.

For me, Gardner made the right call. It was a big call but 100% correct. It was a huge collision and I’m sure both Andre and Owen would've felt it on Sunday morning.

However, if you decide to take off your bias eyes and use your neutral pair, it’s pretty clear that Farrel does attempt to wrap his arms, his left hand actually nearly rips the ball off Esterhuizen.

I’m not saying he didn’t lead with his shoulder, he did, but it’s clear as daylight that he does attempt probably more than attempt to wrap his arms around

If your argument was for the blatant offside from Johnny May or the high tackle on Kriel which wasn’t even seen by TMO, then yes I can entertain the idea of Gardner costing us the game, but no.

John Mitchell is now the defence coach for England and having been coached by him at UKZN, he puts a lot of emphasis on dominating the collision and Farrel did just that. Had Esterhuizen won that collision, the issue of shoulder charge no arms wouldn’t even be in the picture.

The Boks dominated every facet of that game, from territory to possession, but England won the big moments.

That defensive scrum we had on our 5-metre line that led to the England winning penalty kick was the biggest moment in the match, and moving forward we need to start winning those moments to have any chance of lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy.

ALSO ANOTHER OPINION ARTICLE TO READ: The unsung heroes of sport

Main image courtesy of Twitter/Supersport

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