There were some oohs and aahs when Stormers wing Leolin Zas was sent off |during their 30-32 defeat to the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday.
The Stormers winger clearly slipped in the build-up to a high-ball challenge with Tahs flyhalf Bernard Foley that led to the pivot falling awkwardly face down.
Unfortunate as it is, the laws of the game nowadays protect players and their well-being on the pitch and Foley was clearly put in a dangerous position.
South African refereeing legend Jonathan Kaplan, though, felt it wasn’t a red card and wrote on Twitter: “Ref managers are to blame for making/choosing process driven refs and not those who have a feel for the game. Too many errors for pro sport.
“SuperSport pundits talking about consistency but missing the point. A player slipped intent? Outcome based solutions fair?
“Our ‘pundits’ making as if this is a clear cut case. far from it . #STOVSWAR once again slip must be taken into consideration.”
The card did have an impact on the game, as the Stormers still had a slender 20-18 lead at the time.
With less than 20 minutes left to play, the Stormers stretched their lead despite having only 14 men on the park with a Jean-Luc du Plessis penalty.
They rallied on despite their numerical disadvantage and with a Pieter-Steph du Toit score – his second of the game, the Stormers took a five-point lead (30-25) with six minutes left to play.
But four minutes later, Michael Hooper scored a try, with Foley kicking the conversion to make it 32-30.
The defeat left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Stormers faithful, as the Bulls were the only South African team to score a win this weekend – leaving them just one point behind the Cape side at the top of the SA conference and having a game in hand.