2019 W杯・備忘録 64
～ Cunning ～
ENGのジョーンズHCは、RSAのエラスムスHCを、Rassie [Erasmus] is a cunning coach and has done a great job with the Springboks. (EJ: p413)と評している。
エラスムス就任から優勝までの軌跡を描いたRSAのスポーツジャーナリストLloyd BURNARD「 MIRACLE MEN – How Rassie’s Springboks won the World cup 」（以下「MM」）は、興味深い逸話に満ちている。
2018年秋のテストマッチで、RSAはENGと対戦し、その試合最終盤、ENGのファレルのタックルがショルダーチャージか否かでTMOとなり、レフリー・ガードナー（AUS）は正当なタックルと判断し、12-11で敗れた。South African supporters were livid, in the belief that Farrell had not used his arms. (MM：p103) そして、エラスムスはファレルと同様のタックルを選手に練習させ動画で配信した。これは人々を喜ばせた。しかし、そこでエラスムスは反省する。そして、レフリーを研究することにする。（これ等の経緯について興味ある方は参考１、2も見てください。）
決勝前夜も優勝後の夜も、エラスムスの部屋では遅くまで近親者と懇談が続いた。その近親者たちの中に、Jaco Peyper（準々決勝WAL/FRA戦：主審）、Marius Jonker（準々決勝WAL/FRA戦・準決勝ENG/NZ戦：TMO）が含まれていた。
He soon realized that his approach to officiating needed to change, and the reaction to the Farrell tackle became the catalyst for a major shift in how Erasmus and the Springboks approached referees in the months to come.
‘Our first thing we had to get right was for referees to understand that we respected them’ he says. ‘That was maybe a mistake we had made in earlier Test matches, like the one we lost against England with Farrell tackle and my actions after that. That was one of the lessons for me and the players. What a coach believes of the referee, the players believe of the referee. The moment you as a coach start respecting the referee and looking at how you can help him make the game work, the players do too. It’s about the referee feeling comfortable and understanding that you don’t look down on him.’ (MM：p103)
Farrell hit him really hard and Estherhuizen went down in a heap. The ball spilled to the ground and we booted it out as we had passed 80 minutes on the clock. Our players celebrated, only to suddenly see that the referee, Australia’s Angus Gardner, had asked the TMO to check the legality of the tackle. He specifically wanted to establish whether Farrell had used his arms to bring Esterhuizen down, rather than hitting him with his shoulders. I thought it was a fair hit, but I knew it was very close – and the legitimacy of Farrell’s tackling technique would come under fierce scrutiny after the match. (EJ: p355)
（NZ・ペレナラのキックをENG・ロールズがチャージしてトライに至った直後）The crowd and the players celebrated a match-winning try – until the referee Jerome Garces turned to the TMO to ask whether Lawes had been onside at the ruck when Perenara put boot to ball. It was another agonizing wait, just like the week before. This time the decision went against us. Marius Jonker, the TMO, ruled that Lawes had been fractionally offside. We had lost the match by a few centimetres. (EJ: p356)
I knew that we had got some luck against the Boks, but not against the Blacks a week later. ‘Sometimes the game loves you and sometimes it doesn’t,’ I said with a little smile as another tumultuous rugby year wound to a close on a rainy night at Twickenham. ‘It always balances out. We’ll get some love from the game further down the track.’ (EJ: p357)
The coach had set up a panel to provide feedback on the referees the Boks would have in Japan. The plan, simply, was to know as much about the referees as possible position to manage expectations, and they hoped to get the rub of the green when it came to a marginal decision. The research included analysis on how the referees blew games of rugby, from scrummaging to the dark arts at the breakdown and the offside line. But it went much deeper than that.
The level of detail in the refereeing reports included personality traits, all with the hope of finding an edge. The Springboks would role-play at team meeting and the training sessions, practicing what they would say to the match officials with the research in mind. The report compiled on Garces, for example, revealed that he responded well to being complimented on his physical appearance. If the match was fast-paced, the Boks would make a point of praising Garces on his condition and his ability to keep up with the players, hoping to rub him up the right way. (MM: p149) 以下、詳細な対策が書き込まれている。
Garces, as expected, figured in the ensuing backlash, with many South African supporters feeling their side had been hard done by. The Boks conceded nine penalties to just four from the All Blacks, with the Boks coming out on the wrong side of a few calls that looked to be touch and go. It was the All Blacks, however, who made headlines over the refereeing, with captain Kieran Read labelling as ‘gutless’ Garces’ decision not to sin-bin Mapimpi, who was caught lying over the ball to slow down the play.
The Boks, meanwhile, noted the decisions that had gone against them and sought feedback from World Rugby’s refereeing panel on where they had gone wrong. Never once did Erasmus or Kolisi criticise a referee, either publicly or during a match. (MM: p153)
With 74 minutes on the clock, Wales were hitting the Boks with persistent waves of attack. Inside Bok territory, Wales could have won the game had they been awarded a kickable penalty at that point. Instead, Louw enforced the most important turnover of his career. He had made countless others for the Boks in his previous 74 Tests but none were as vital as this one. After the match, and upon further scrutiny, the Walsh rugby community felt that referee Garces had made the wrong call, and that Wales should have been awarded the penalty for Franco Mostert not rolling away. Perhaps it was down to the work the Boks had done in understanding the way their World Cup referees would officiate matches, and it was not, but the Boks were on the right side of this call. Pollard duly provided the relief and kicked them deep into the Welsh half.
It was from that resulting lineout and rolling maul that the Boks won the penalty that kept their tournament alive. (MM：p198)
Sadly for us, the decisive moments then went against us: a penalty against Alun Wyn for not releasing under pressure from the turnover specialist Francois Louw, followed by another as the Springboks set up their trademark driving maul off the lineout. That gave Pollard a shot to win the game, and win it he did. There was no way back far us. It was over.
My thoughts? Sadness and disappointment, of course. I had felt in my bones that there was a strong possibility of ending my time with Wales as I had started it, with a huge match against England. How I would have loved the occasion. There was a slight sense of frustration too. Whatever happened at that fateful maul on seventy-four minutes, it wasn’t particularly clear or obvious. It seemed to me that if any Wales players were off their feet, as referee Jerome Garces appeared to indicate, it was because Duane Vermeulen created the situation by going to ground first. But these calls are part and parcel of rugby and I can’t say I felt burning injustice about the way things ended. Neither was I in the mood to be hyper-critical of my own players. We could have been a little more decisive in controlling the aerial game and made different decisions when we gained ascendancy towards the end. (WG: p373)
Jerome Garces, meanwhile, was to referee the World Cup final, which would be his third time in charge of the Springboks during the tournament. The Springboks did not flinch at this decision. They had proved against Wales that the homework they had done on referees, and on Garces in particular, was paying dividends. The Boks knew what Garces wanted from the set piece, the breakdown, the offside lines … it had all been analysed and they were prepared. (EE: p206)
Two minute later our scrum struggles again. The Bok pack really hammers us in the set piece and we’re on the back foot. In these big games, when it’s close, South Africa have a decisive advantage. We begin to concede more penalties and leak three points every ten minutes.
Marc dal Maso, the great French prop and my scrummaging coach with Japan, always used to say: ‘No scrum, no life.’
Marc understood rugby. A losing scrum has a trickle-down effect. Everyone gets a bit edgy. The forwards lose confidence and the backs overcompensate and force the play. ……
I accept that I made two selection mistakes for the final. I should have chosen Joe Marler ahead of Mako and I should have reverted to the Farrell-Tuilagi-Slade midfield we used against Australia. George Ford could have come off the bench when we had got into the game. But you never know until the game starts. You use the best available evidence and rely on your gut. I had been right against Australia and New Zealand but, as it turned out, in the biggest game of our four-year cycle, I got it badly wrong. Hindsight is a wonderful teacher. (EJ: p416)