Bryce Lawrence: Lord of the Whistles

October 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Breakdown off RWC match between Australia and South Africa


Many are saying South Africans should get over their loss to the wallabies, to take it on the chin, that the Springboks were beaten by the better team on the day and I am sure they would if it was a case of the Springboks being beaten fairly. 


The Springboks were all over the Wallabies for most of the game. They dominated in both territory and possession, stole 5 opposition line out throws and were bullying them in the scrums. It’s easy for critics to say the Boks lost the game and failed to capitalise as opposed to the Wallabies winning the game. BUT the real reasons, and I hope to demonstrate here is how they lost and that every single time the Boks worked incredibly hard to get into a scoring position in the strike zone, then the referee would penalise them and more importantly in this match, he did not blow his whistle and allowed the game to continue while the Australians were committing numerous penalties against the Boks, all while the Boks were playing very positive attacking rugby. 


In 2007 the All Blacks were robbed in their quarter final match by a single bad decision by Wayne Barnes, which ultimately saw France victorious and them on a plane home. During Saturdays match, the were numerous mistakes, oodles of them. A few calls were fifty fifty and could have gone either way but most were glaringly obvious. 


Bryce Lawrence or Gollum as he is known in the Shire, has a well documented history of atrocious games and should never have been put into this position in the first place. The blame lies solely with the IRB for appointing him for the particular match, BUT WAIT who is in charge? Paddy O’Brien (Saruman), another kiwi. Smells like match fixing – how on earth can they pick a referee to control a match where the winners would play against his home nation the following weekend in the semi final?  For the IRB to just brush over this and not say anything publicly and hope it all just blows over is complete disrespect for the fans of the game and the people of South Africa. 


This was not the bounce of the ball or the rub of the Green but in my opinion a deliberate attempt by the Kiwi referees to eliminate the greatest threat to his home country’s team by blowing Australia off the park in their pool game against Ireland thus leaving them placed 2nd and paving the way for the two greatest threats to the All Blacks to meet each other in the quarter final guaranteeing at least one would be out of the tournament, then the key is to eliminate the stronger of the two, thus leaving the All Blacks with the best possible chance of reaching the finals.  Even if the IRB banish Bryce/Smeagol into the outbacks of Middle-Earth to referee matches between the Baggins’s and Proudfeet, the damage is done.


Watch this game again without the emotion and you will realize the Springboks tried everything they possibly could to get into scoring positions and played extremely well and in my opinion one of their best games of the past 2 years. You can not fault a single players performance on the day.


In 1999 we lost to the Australians in the semi finals from a very ugly wobbly drop goal and a bit of luck from Stephen Larkham and one could stomach that, we were out played on the day. No problem, time for the Boks to pack up and head home. Then we had loads to talk about, Nick Mallet’s decision to drop Gary Teichman, playing Bob Skinstad. Joost wasn’t the right captain etc etc …..




This conspiracy theory is obviously something one cannot prove but it leaves such a sour taste in my mouth that it takes away the very reason I have always loved this game. You can’t cheat. I do not watch cricket for the simple reason there is always a possibility the match could be rigged. Up to last Sunday, I would never have believed this could be done in the beautiful game of rugby union. On second thoughts read the breakdown below and I think I might have a strong point. I say an investigation must take place. 


Why are all us Saffas so upset about something that is just a game? The Boks winning the 1995 transformed South Africa and it’s many wonderful people in way that can’t be described to anyone who is not South African, it united us in such a way that we could see through colour, receiving Bill from Nelson Mandela in1995 was the beginning of the Rainbow Nation. 


Unfortunately in recent years things have started to take a turn for the worse with crime getting way out of control and Julius’ songs eating away at peace like a cancer of the worst kind. We all hoped Bafana would be able to do something incredible in 2010 but that was not to be. All South Africans believed in this Mighty SpringBok team, the Best and most experienced Bok team of all time, capable of winning back to back world cups and becoming immortal, the benchmark of a champion team and etched into the history of the game. We needed this more than ever.


What does all this mean to me? I can no longer support the international game and will not  be buying a ticket to the next Test Match and will definitely not be attending the next RWC. Rugby has lost me as a supporter and I am damn sure there’s a lot more fans of the game out there that feel the same…. 


I can not for a minute imagine how the Bok players must feel. To spend a life time dreaming and working hard year after year to become the best and then although you play like a champion side, have Bryce (Gollum) Lawrence blow it all away with his Prrecioussss shinny silver whistle while he’s on TV for the world to see. “ Look mummy, daddy and uncle Paddy, it’s me Bryce!!!!”


Below are the many blunders made by Bryce Lawrence (Gollum). Maybe you see it differently, but then please show where I am wrong and argue constructively, either way the IRB rules are clear to me, should be even more clear to the Top Honcho professional referee from the “supposedly” best rugby nation on the planet.


I will bet anything – give the Springboks a 2nd go at the Wobblies this weekend and they would smash them off the park with an Aussie ref.


In some cases, yes the referee could let the game play on and allow it to flow, but he made calls where he would blow for something and a short while later not allow the exact same transgression from the opposition. Just so completely inconsistent and one sided – again I say this needs some formal investigation! 





All Laws available on the IRB website




1.20 min – 1st scrum – Early engagement by Australia – Allowed to play on ( should have been a short/arm free kick to SA )


1.30 min – Australia going off their feet at the breakdown on attackDEFINITIONS

A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has ended. Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play.

(e)  Players must have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips.
Sanction: Free Kick 

3.10 min – Australia no1 Loose head prop scrumming in at an angle ( clear view on spidercam - ( the only requirement for ref to see this would be to be taller than 3ft )


7.34 min – Horwill (5) high tackles Brussouw (7) around the neck ( No Penalty awarded )


10:36 min – Pocock (7) enters the ruck from the side – then from an offside position kicks the ball back – Australia score a try from this


At a ruck or maul, the offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the player of the same team.

. (c)  Players in opposition to the ball carrier who remain on their feet who bring the ball carrier to ground so that the player is tackled must release the ball and the ball carrier. Those players may then play the ball providing they are on their feet and do so from behind the ball and from directly behind the tackled player or a tackler closest to those players’ goal line. Sanction: Penalty kick 

Players joining or rejoining the ruck. A player joining a ruck must do so from behind the foot of the hindmost team-mate in the ruck. A player may join alongside this hindmost player. If a player joins the ruck from the opponents’ side, or in front of the hindmost team- mate, the player is offside. A player may bind onto an opposition player providing the player is not otherwise offside. Sanction: Penalty kick on the offending team’s offside line


JP Pieterson charges the conversion attempt before the run up is started – Rules state

. If the kick is unsuccessful, the kicker may take another kick and the opposing team is not
allowed to charge. 

O’Connor should have been given a 2nd attempt – Not given = Bad Call


15:17 min – SA Correctly penalized for hands in the ruck. Although Pocock(7)  was diving over the ball O’Connor(14) scores 3 points


Score Australia 8 South Africa 0



a – Pocock (7) off his feet at the ruck holding the ball into Brussouw slowing making SA ball unplayable .

(a)  All players forming, joining or taking part in a ruck must have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips.
Sanction: Free Kick 

. (b)  A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body of the player joining the ruck.
Sanction: Penalty kick 

. (c)  Placing a hand on another player in the ruck does not constitute binding.
Sanction: Penalty kick 

. (d)  All players forming, joining or taking part in a ruck must be on their feet.
Sanction: Penalty kick 


b – Samo not rolling away slowing SA ball – 2 penalties not awarded – scrum to SA

. (h)  After a tackle, any player lying on the ground must not prevent an opponent from getting possession of the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick 


c – In full view of the Assistant referee. Dan Vickerman (4), enters the Ruck and deliberately takes out Brussouw, cheap shot knee in the head – thus taking SA’s most effective player off the field for the rest of the Match – this was not cited after the match either. – 3rd Penalty not awarded


20:18min – At least 2 Australians in frame ( Ione and McCabe offside ) 

. (a)  The offside line. There are two offside lines parallel to the goal lines, one for each team. Each offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the hindmost player in the ruck. If the hindmost foot of the hindmost player is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for the defending team is the goal line. No Penalty Awarded


At the Australian Try line – Schalk Burger carries the ball up.

20.23min – Burger is not released in the Tackle – No Penalty Awarded

20:26min – Hands in the Ruck In full view of camera and referee – No Penalty Awarded

. (a)  No player may prevent the tackled player from passing the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick 

. (b)  No player may prevent the tackled player from releasing the ball and getting up or moving away from it.
Sanction: Penalty kick 


24:40min – Pocock(7) enters the SA ruck after it has been formed plays the ball with his hands – referee allows him to steal the ball – No Penalty Awarded


26:30min – Offside play by Australia on the halfway line – SA’s Finally Gets The Penalty 


30:34min – Vickerman hits the ruck with his shoulder first aimed at Morne Steyn – 

Players must not charge into a ruck or maul without binding onto a player in the ruck or maul.
Sanction: Penalty kick .

(b)  A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body of the player joining the ruck.
Sanction: Penalty kick 

No Penalty Awarded ( BTW if that had been Bakkies Botha, without any doubt, would have been a yellow card )


31:29min – Pocock(7) holds SA ball against SA player at the ruck – Finally another penalty advantage to SA


32:43min – From the line out – 5m out from Austalia’s goal line – Australia start driving in against SA maul before Matfield gets to the ground – No Penalty Awarded


32:48min – Australia play the ball on the ground – Turnover allowed – No Penalty Awarded


33:14min – Australia (12) McCabe not rolling away slows SA ball – No Penalty Awarded


33:45min – The same player 12 not rolling away – repeated infringement. Finally referee gives SA advantage – BUT allows play to continue….. 


34:04min – JP Pieterson penalised for holding on to the ball 5m away from Australia’s try line


JP Pieterson was never released and allowed to place the ball – should have been a new advantage to SA and the question is what happened to SA’s previous advantage – in 19 seconds? should have gone back to original penalty – potential 3 points again taken away from SA


35:51 min – SA demolish Australia scrum

35:57 min – Genia loses the ball forward – referee says play on

36:05 min – Australia dive into the ruck


36:49min – Radike Samo – shoulder charge on Bryan Habana – dangerous  –  No Penalty Awarded


37:18min – Moore first looks then turns himself over and rolls from the ruck into SA Scrumhalf again slowing SA ball – Schalk was penalized for this in the game against Wales – No Penalty Awarded

(c) No player may fall on or over the players lying on the ground after a tackle with the ball between or near to them.

Sanction: Penalty kick . .

(d)  Players on the ground in or near the ruck must try to move away from the ball. These players must not interfere with the ball in the ruck or as it comes out of the ruck. Sanction: Penalty kick 

(e)  A player must not fall on or over a ball as it is coming out of a ruck.
Sanction: Penalty kick 



37:29min Finally a penalty to SA –  Pocock – SA get first kickable 3 points after 37 mins of rugby


40:14min – In Injury time another penalty to SA from the half way line just in from the left hand touch line

Australia entering from the side of the ruck


Half time


43:30min – Morne Steyn shoulders Digby Ioane into touch – Should be penalty to Australia – No Penalty Awarded


43:52min – Ref says ball went forward first before Habana knocks the ball down – no real attempt at intercept – No Penalty Awarded – should at least be a scrum to Aus?


47:43 min – Jaque Fourie to Habana – Forward pass called – NOT forward – BAD CALL


50:26 min – Scrum penalty to SA – 


51:55 min Pocock leaning on SA players again not supporting his own bodyweight and holding the ball against Bismark in the ruck – No Penalty Awarded – But scrum to SA


53:53 min – Australia (18) Nathan Sharpe – clearly pulling Matfield down in the air – No Penalty Awarded – this is no different to penalty awarded against Danie Rossouw/70:16min


54:05 min penalty awarded to SA for offside at driving maul – M Steyn kicks 3 points to SA


Australia 8 – SA 6


57:22 min – Pocock holds ball against SA player body in the ruck, not allowing placement of the ball – slowing ball down again.

. (a)  No player may prevent the tackled player from passing the ball.  Sanction: Penalty kick 

. (b)  No player may prevent the tackled player from releasing the ball and getting up or moving away from it.
Sanction: Penalty kick 


57:42 min – Penalty awarded to Aus for SA not releasing the ball – Fair call, would be nice if this was called the same both ways


59:39 min – Steyn Kicks drop goal SA


Australia 8 SA 9


65:47 min – SA on attack 5m form Australia’s try line –  Australia never allow the player to place the ball and hands in after the ruck is formed and steal the ball – No Penalty Awarded!  (a)  No player may prevent the tackled player from passing the ball.  Sanction: Penalty kick 

. (b)  No player may prevent the tackled player from releasing the ball and getting up or moving away from it.
Sanction: Penalty kick

70:16 min – Danie Rossouw penalty for holding Samo’s leg O’Connor puts Australia back in the lead (missed by the Ref, a touch judge call ) 


Australia 11 – SA 9


74:01 min – Aus players lying on the wrong side of the ruck making no attempt to roll away – No Penalty – Awarded scrum to SA

74:20 min – Australia crabbing – walking around in the scrum – No Penalty Awarded – minimum of a free kick to SA


75:33 min – Willem Alberts tackled around the neck again by Horwill (5)- No Penalty Awarded 

As the ball was coming out on SA side and as du Preez was about to play – referee instantly blows scrum to Australia – no advantage to the attacking team


77:10min – Bismark holds O’Connor in ball in tackle, a maul is formed and ball goes to ground Austrlia awarded the scrum – exact same decision as last play at 75:33min – Complete opposite and poor decision

DEFINITIONS - A maul begins when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball carrier’s team mates bind on the ball carrier. A maul therefore consists, when it begins, of at least three players, all on their feet; the ball carrier and one player from each team. All the players involved must be caught in or bound to the maul and must be on their feet and moving towards a goal line. Open play has ended


78:30 min – Quade Cooper high tackle on Francois Hougard – Again No Penalty Awarded



End Result:  Australia + Gollum 11 / Springboks 9


In some cases, yes the referee could let the game play on and flow, but he made at least 25 bad calls by not blowing for the offense, and often where he would blow for something and a short while later not allow the exact same transgression. 

25 responses to Bryce Lawrence: Lord of the Whistles

  1. I can just hear old Robbum: I got them with my PoCocksus! This time Lambolus and AraJohn could not save Middle earth from the Orc’s! Maybe because Heino Brussins got injured without the help of Schalkwise Gamgee! Maybe it was because the SARUmon was fighting on the Boks side, alongside GanDiv!

  2. You did put my speed-reading to the test here man! that’s a lot of work you put out there!

  3. Gosh, so basically you’re saying that Bryce Lawrence is a rather naughty chap? I mean, to cut a long story short. Yes?

    It all sounds a bit unfair if you ask me. I know this might sound a bit outlandish but do you think it might all be part of some bigger conspiracy? Do you think perhaps everyone is out to get the innocent and misunderstood Yarpies?

  4. I would really like to read your post but have given up after the first 20 lines.It looks as though you put in a lot of effort annalizing the game. Please edit your post and insert paragraphs.
    I simply can’t read it.

  5. You really start to sound like a troll.

  6. That’s a pretty big Wall of text bro. Paragraphs or it didn’t happen.

    Otherwise really good read.

  7. It’s like saying the Governor of California sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    With so many trolls about, this one is pretty good to be honest.

  8. A lot of work clearly went into this post. Like Potyster, I just can’t read it. Please insert paragraphs, I would like to read it.

  9. Jean Div the Grey on defence yelled ….”you shall not pass”

  10. Apologies, I went on to edit something and all the spaces vanished.

  11. I like that, very very sharp!!! You were on a roll, what stopped you?

  12. Very good work.

  13. Nice one. I wanted to do something similar, but was too lazy.

  14. So you are going to stop watching rugby because of a perceived “conspiracy” ? Leaving aside the small matter of you having no basis whatsoever for this suggestion, I would like to ask you who loses ? You or the IRB ?

  15. Ran out of steam…

  16. No not at all. I will always support the Boks. What I am saying is I won’t be going to watch tests at stadiums and won’t be traveling to the next world cup. I was very close to going to NZ for this world cup and now glad that I didn’t. Would loved to have seen the country though…

    Imagine what those people feel like who have just spent hard earned money on traveling to NZ?

  17. Could you say that any of the 2011 RWC matches have been real classics? Have you once during this tournament said “wish I was there to see that game live” ? Most of the more exciting games have come from the minnows.

  18. not pass forwards anyway

  19. Interesting clip I found forward passes Maybe Bryce wasn’t at school that day or had an appointment with the optometrist?
    Would like to the see the footage from JDV’s pass to Lambie on the other side of the field. Funny how the don’t show somethings. There was clearly a cameraman there, as you can see him there at the start of JDV’s run.

  20. THE IRB IS A JOKE!!!!

  21. Great analysis; I also would like to see that “forward pass” again. Total Rugby ran an interesting segment on forward passes; if a player is running forward and throws the ball up and over is head, it still actually travels forward due to momentum even though the pass is clearly backwards. I’m pretty sure if JdV was not tackled and stopped dead the play would have gone on, but because he stopped and Lambie caught the ball in front of where JdV was it was called forward. To me when I watched the game it appeared the the ball was passed backwards relative to JdV at the moment of passing.

  22. Fact remains is that the Boks played with character and integrity throughout their time at the tournament. The IRB loses when a team that is a credit to the sport and the RWC are shafted by incompetent officials and their lack of adherence to their own rules. They have no credibility left. Good luck to the All Blacks and France for the final. May the best team on the day win along with the fans.

  23. The only way NZ can win the cup is when the Boks are not there. In 1987 it was our absence and now, it was Bryce

  24. Excellent post. I won’t go as far as saying he deliberately cheated. he was probably instructed to, or he just choked…a nasty NZ habit! ;)

  25. Excellent Article – Thank you for the effort!
    I was actually in New Zealand, it was a great trip and I spent a lot of New Zealand dollars over there. I sat on the stand on that day, encircled by a sea of green and made almost every call you noted down here from the stands. I saw the Pocock foot that led to their try, the high tackles, the uneven contest on the ground, the penalty advantage in front of the posts that was turned around etc and was mortified. We were cheated, no doubt in my mind, the question is, what will this lead to? Introduction of technology which is long overdue? I don’t know, but I would like Supersport or SARU to start looking after the public – we need support from higher up. Give is video analysis of this, in full detail for the world to see that we are NOT crazy!

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