Siya Kolisi says referee Nic Berry didn’t show him respect in first Lions Test
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CAPE TOWN – Siya Kolisi has backed up SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus’ claims that the Springbok captain was disrespected by the match officials during the opening Test against the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium.
On Thursday morning, a video of Erasmus highlighting a string of officiating inconsistencies went viral. He also shared how he felt the match officials showed the South Africans a lack of respect and didn’t treat them the same as the Lions leadership.
During the captain's press conference on Friday, Kolisi was of course asked about the matter and supported Erasmus’ statements.
“I didn’t feel respected at all, I didn’t feel I was given a fair opportunity. But I’m looking forward to a new game and a new referee,” the Bok skipper said.
“I think Ben (O’Keeffe) will give a fair opportunity for both captains, and that’s all we’re asking.”
When asked to give specific examples of how Berry disrespected him, Kolisi said: “Did you watch the video? Watch it and then we can chat afterwards.
“I don’t really want to get into it to be honest. I don’t want to get involved in that, I just didn’t feel I was given the same access to the referee.
“If you watch the game again you’ll definitely be able to see.
“But it’s already happened, I don’t want to speak too much about it, it’s not going to change anything.”
The war of words was sparked when Lions coach Warren Gatland questioned the appointment of South African referee Marius Jonker as TMO and his neutrality for the opening Test of the Series.