RFU coaches reprimanded by IRB over Kaplan comments

Story from BBC SPORT:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/sport2/hi/rugby_union/english/7912721.stm

England’s ref complaints rejected

England backs coach Brian Smith has been reprimanded for his criticism of Jonathan Kaplan’s refereeing in the Six Nations match against Wales.
Smith accused him of not being even-handed with England, claiming he had been swayed by the Wales management.

“Comments that appear to question the performance of Kaplan were unwarranted,” said the International Rugby Board in a statement.

“The official review of the match ranks Kaplan’s performance as high.”

The statement added: “The IRB is satisfied that Kaplan followed the correct protocol for addressing both teams on and off the field and dealt with England and Wales in a fair and professional manner and refereed what was in front of him.

“An official process exists for unions to give feedback to the IRB on refereeing performances.

“IRB referee manager Paddy O’Brien and the Rugby Football Union elite rugby director Rob Andrew shared a very positive meeting on Monday, which makes the timing of the comments regrettable and unfortunate.”

Smith had not held back in his criticism of Kaplan, who he believed had come under pressure from Wales to find fault in England’s play at the breakdown.
“His whole demeanour through that match, the way he addressed our team in the changing room beforehand – he had clearly had heaps of pressure put on by Wales,” said Smith, following the 23-15 defeat on 14 February.

“The way our team was addressed prior to the Wales game took me a little bit by surprise. It was clear to me that Wales had done their job in terms of getting stuck into the referee.

“Fair play to them for doing it. Teams are looking at every advantage they can get.

“What we are really trying to say to the refs is: ‘Please judge us the same way you judge other teams and do not come into the game with a preconceived idea’.”

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