Cape Town – It was subtle, but Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk had a little dig at French referee Mathieu Raynal following his side’s 26-20 loss to Ireland at Newlands on Saturday.
De Klerk, making his Bok debut, was full of energy and intent, but he struggled to get his backline moving.
That was due largely to a resilient rushing Irish defence, but also slow ball.
“Today was a bit slow … the Irish did well at ruck time causing slow ball for us so I was constantly waiting for our ball to come out,” said De Klerk.
“Maybe we can clean a bit better or maybe the ref can make a few calls there. I think we can definitely speed it up next week and play better.”
The Lions No 9 then pointed out the differences in officiating between northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere refs.
“I’ve watched refs blow that side (northern hemisphere) and it’s a bit different than in Super Rugby.
“I think there’s a bit more opportunity (in the northern hemisphere) at ruck time and I think they (Ireland) definitely made the ball slower.
“You have to adapt and now I know and I can adapt … it’s definitely a learning curve,” admitted De Klerk.
De Klerk said he expected the Boks to bounce back at Ellis Park this weekend.
“I know there’s going to be great support for us at Ellis Park and the Boks always historically play very well at Ellis Park so we definitely want to make that step up,” he said.