South Africans attack Ref but get the wrong man

Angry South African rugby fans who were looking for payback after their Rugby World Cup ending loss to the Wallabies have been slamming the wrong man.


South Africans have taken to the internet in their thousands with Youtube videos, Facebook campaigns and World Cup look alike competitions and even fake articles quoting Australian newspapers have been circulating all slamming referee Bryce Lawrence.


More than 66,000 people have signed a Facebook petition “to stop Bryce Lawrence ever reffing a rugby game again” although it’s unlikely anything will come of the campaign.


An online campaign against Lawrence has listed the phone number for New Zealander Bryce Lawrence however the number listed and the number used later for a prank call is for another Bryce Lawrence who is not involved in rugby at all.


A radio station in South Africa played a prank call on Bryce Lawrence with lewd comments relating to Viagra, calling Lawrence deaf and blind and also saying they had found his mobile phone which had 15 missed calls suggesting that he had made 15 missed calls in South Africa’s Quarter final loss to the Wallabies.


The innocent victim of this campaign Mr. Lawrence from Auckland has told the New Zealand Herald that his phone has been ringing constantly since his number was wrongly listed by the South African campaigns.


Youtube Videos have been posted online by fans claiming to have recorded the referee being prank-called at his house around 3am to 4am.


“This is a little bit of payback, just to let him know how South Africa feel about him,” one online video says.


The male narrator calls a number and asks the man who answers if he is Bryce Lawrence, the referee. The man answers, “Yes”.


After the call, the narrator says: “At least he knows how we feel … I’ve got his number if you want it.”


Mr. Lawrence has now been forced to ask Telecom to get his number removed and has also been in contact with the Police but says that he is resigned to being in his predicament.


“Well, these things happen. It’s one of these things in life,” he said.


Retiring Springboks captain John Smit and South African referees manager Andre Watson have not helped the ill feeling towards IRB referee Bryce Lawrence with some of their public comments.


“The one positive (of retirement) is that I won’t ever have to be reffed by him again,” Smit said on his return to South Africa.


Watson told a South African radio station Lawrence had failed to officiate the breakdown as he was supposed to.


“He will be punished, but that’s up to the (International Rugby Board),” Watson said.


“I do not believe we will see him in any Rugby World Cup again.”


New Zealand Rugby great Colin Meads has accused the South Africans of “terrible sour grapes” and said that the South Africans would not have made a fuss if they had scored from their late drop-goal attempt and won the game.


“I could tell you a few stories about South African referees in the past. But it’s just sour grapes,” he said in the Herald.

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