Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick says the team is happy to stay on referee Jerome Garces’ good side in the semi-final against Wales.
Garces will be in charge of a match involving the Springboks for the second time in the tournament. The French referee also officiated the Boks’ World Cup opener against New Zealand and came under fire for his handling of the breakdown and scrums in particular.
However, Stick said that the Boks are confident in Garces’ ability to handle Sunday’s quarter-final in Yokohama and that they would give him the utmost respect to do his job.
‘When it comes to World Rugby with the World Cup, they have high standards,’ Stick said. ‘We believe the two refs that have been chosen for the semi-finals are the best refs to manage the games. For us as a team, we are focusing on making sure we are on their good side on the day.
‘Jerome Garces is one of the best refs at the moment. The fact that he has been given a semi-final means that we might see him in the final since France went out of the competition. So, we respect him as a ref and we will try to make sure we are on his good side and let him do his job.’
Stick added that the Springbok management is happy with the team’s discipline so far into the tournament, citing that Tendai Mtawarira’s yellow card in the quarter-final against Japan was the only card the team had received in this year’s tournament.
‘Discipline is a big key for us. The only yellow card we have received so far was Beast’s one and it was not like Beast was trying to cheat the game,’ Stick added. ‘That was the matter of half a second where he was going for an aggressive tackle. We try to make sure we keep good discipline.’
Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
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