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France coach slams back: We don’t care about Rassie words

Sunday night’s fourth and final World Cup quarterfinal between the Springboks and France will be officiated by New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe.


Rassie Erasmus, the head coach of the Boks, has made some noteworthy understated comments regarding France and specific simulation techniques that can sway the referee prior to this highly anticipated match.

According to Erasmus, “the French do not play a dangerous game where they err on the side of being overly violent with high hits. But they really make the referee aware of it when they are struck close to the high [tackle] line, in my opinion. They do, on occasion, simulate just a little bit, which is clever.

Sometimes, when the referee enters the field, players fall to the ground or, you know, the TV [replays] don’t function at that particular moment [referring to a suspicious situation when the teams met in November 2016 on the year-end tour]. They’re quite excellent at that, in my opinion, and very intelligent at it.

However, as tension rose in front of the titanic struggle, France forwards coach William Servat responded to these remarks with a stern reply.

“It doesn’t seem like there is much to interpret. This kind of workout is something Rassie is experienced with,” Servat stated through a translator. “We are aware of the energy and potential violence South Africa brings to a contest. We are aware of their resilience.

“I don’t know how to understand what he said, and I don’t really care what he said. Making sure that our guys are ready is crucial.”


Quarter-final 1: Wales v Argentina
Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Saturday, 14 October
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Referee 1: Karl Dickson (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Piardi (FIR)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)


Quarter-final 2: Ireland v New Zealand
Stade de France, Paris
Saturday, 14 October
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Christophe Ridley (RFU)
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)


Quarter-final 3: England v Fiji
Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Sunday, 15 October
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nic Berry (RA)
Assistant Referee 2: Pierre Brousset (FFR)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)


Quarter-final 4: France v South Africa
Stade de France, Paris
Sunday, 15 October
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Williams (NZR)
Assistant Referee 2: James Doleman (NZR)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (NZR)

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