South African reporter that labelled Lions as hobbits threw a wobbler after their win 1 year ago

South African reporter that labelled Lions as hobbits threw a wobbler after their win

'Despicable pr**k!'

Mark Keohane was never going to take a Springboks defeat to the Lions - a team he summarily dismissed - lying down.


The South African rugby columnist gained some traction, back when Warren Gatland named his Lions squad, by labelling them as 'hobbits' going up against giants.

On Saturday, in Cape Town, the Lions drew first blood as they staged an impressive second half comeback to beat the Boks 22-17. The Lions got a couple of big calls swinging their way, most notably a Willie Le Roux try that was ruled out and a Hamish Watson tip tackle that did not result i a card for the Scotland flanker.

Still, Springboks' head coach Jacques Nienaber was not in the mood to casts aspersions or apportion blame on referee Nic Berry, T.M.O Marius Jonker or any of the match officials. He commented:

"I completely trust the officials, that is their jobs, they are the professionals in that field.

"They are in a better position and have many angles to look at. Sometimes these calls go against you, as we found out today. In the second half we had three try scoring opportunities, twice we were called back. Those is the small margins in this game."


Springboks Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus was also gracious after losing the first game in the best-of-three contest.

'No excuses this side,' he tweeted. 'You are far away from home, families and going through same tough covid protocols like we do. Congrats and well deserved!'

British and Irish Lions players celebrate after winning a scrum penalty. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Sportsfile)

The South African media coverage was, on the whole, balanced and gracious too. Brenden Nel questioned a couple of Berry's penalty calls, but said the Lions' tactics and the Boks second half drop-off decided the contest.

Former South Africa coach Nick Mallett claimed Warren Gatland creating a stir over local referee Jonker sitting in as Television Match Official may have influenced matters in the Lions' favour. Also in SA Rugby Mag, Zelim Nel paid credit to Lions winger Duhan van der Merwe for diffusing the Boks' bomb squad.

As for Keohane, though, he threw a wobbler.


He then went on to describe Jonker as a 'despicable pr**k' and signed off a now deleted tweet with an F-bomb. The reason? Keohane felt the Le Roux try should have stood and Watson should have been yellow carded.

The rugby columnist followed up that deleted tweet with an explanation as to why he binned it:


He was a bit more respectful in tone in a post-match column he wrote on the Jonker situation, calling on the South African to be stood down from the TMO role for the Second and Third Tests. He declared:

'Marius Jonker: You should never be allowed near a television set, let alone a rugby field.'

In short, Keohane is not taking this well.