Peyper backed for red card decision

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Saturday, August 5, 2017    Getty Images

The incident occurred in the 38th minute with the Crusaders leading 12-3. Crusaders fullback David Havili went to the air to claim a Lions kick only to have Smith collide with him when not challenging for the ball, leaving Havili to fall dangerously to the ground.

Early media reaction supported Peyper's decision.

SuperSport (South Africa): "The Crusaders scored early and went 12-3 up, much to the 62,000 fans disbelief, as the Lions paid the price for a moment of madness by flanker Kwagga Smith, who was red-carded for taking out winger [sic] David Havili in the air.

"Smith's call was a fair one, as he had collided with Havili, who fell badly and watched as the crowd was silenced as the Lions dream of sending coach Johan Ackermann away with a Super Rugby title was snatched away from them." (South Africa): "What was already a difficult challenge became almost impossible for the Lions when Kwagga Smith was shown a straight red card after he went crashing into Crusaders fullback David Havili just before halftime.

"It left the Lions 15-3 down and a man short at the break, and though they threatened to, they were not able to deliver the miraculous comeback that got them past the Hurricanes in the semi-final." (South Africa): "Johan Ackermann, who has done wonders for the Gauteng franchise, is leaving and taking up a coaching place in the United Kingdon.

"He will wonder 'what if?' after Jaco Kriel decided to not kick a first-half penalty with the scores at 3-12, instead, opting to kick for touch and ultimately, his side lost possession and the scoring opportunity.

"Ackermann will also bemoan [Kwagga] Smith's brain-freeze but can have no complains about the red card. There were many mistakes and wrong options taken as his chargers squandered territory and possession in the Crusaders' 22.

"The South Africans could not contend with the Crusaders' rush defence and were dominated in the set pieces, where they lost two important lineout throws and Ruan Dreyer was constantly penalised by Jaco Peyper.

"Conversely, Robinson's men were calm and composed, taking the points when they were on offer and finishing off moves with tries as opposed to knock-ons."

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