"Referees are human" - Flannery on Peyper photo
"It was just timing".
Referee Jaco Peyper landed himself in a bit of hot water last weekend after he was pictured recreating his Quarter Final red card decision against Sébastien Vahaamahina with a few Welsh fans. It was a misjudgement that would cost him dearly, after he subsequently wasn't considered to take part in any of the semi-final clashes this weekend.
It sparked a debate amongst fans and media, some argued that he was having a bit of fun around an iron-clad red card, others said it was unprofessional for a referee to put himself in such a position so soon after the game itself. France Rugby were very much in the camp of the latter.
Speaking on The JOEpan Rugby Show this week, Jerry Flannery argued that while Peyper's picture wasn't the smartest idea, it's important that referees are allowed to show a little personality on and off the field;
"I think it's good to have referees with character. I think Jaco Peyper could possibly have, definitely have been smarter there around it because you have a French nation... the thing is no one disputes the decision, it was a clear red card. But there's just a little bit boxing a bit clever, it's almost rubbing salt in the wounds, the guy who actually had to deliver the red card doing that with the Welsh fans."
Fla went onto say that, had Peyper done something similar in a few weeks when the incident had time to settle, it probably wouldn't have caused such a stir;
"It's probably just an error of timing. I wouldn't see any issue with it a couple of weeks later, him taking that picture with them. You want... referees are human, and people want to... supporters enjoy the affinity that's there between the officials and between players and them being normal and being relatable. It was just timing. It wasn't great."
On Episode 10 of The JOEpan Rugby Show, Rob O'Hanrahan and Jerry Flannery look forward to Ireland's new management team, what Ireland need out of the 2020 6 Nations and preview the World Cup semi-final between Wales and South Africa. WATCH below: