Bok fans starting to fear Willie le Roux could cost them the World Cup
Wille le Roux is a South Africa legend and arguably the most important player in the entire team. In a team of superstars across the squad, le Roux is the unsung hero.
So much of the Springboks’ attack goes through the fullback, and his shedload of assists reflects how important he is to Jacques Nienaber’s side. He added to that sizeable list of assists on Saturday against Wales at the Principality Stadium, but at the same time has concerned a number of Bok fans.
Fans are growing increasingly worried that the way the 34-year-old talks to referees could be costly at the World Cup next month. This was most apparent on 34 minutes on Saturday after le Roux had put in a kick for winger Canan Moodie to chase. Wales winger Rio Dyer slapped the ball into touch to prevent the try, something he was yellow carded for, which resulted in le Roux approaching referee Andrew Brace and protesting.
This confrontation prompted captain Siya Kolisi to apologise to Brace, but Bok fans are keen to see the fullback curtail that enthusiasm.
YouTube account TAS Analytics highlighted this after the game, writing: “Take a close look at Willie le Roux’s actions in the next clip; he has a recurring habit of this behavior and it nearly spelled trouble for South Africa today. Before referee Andrew Brace even initiates a conversation with his Assistant Referee (AR), Willie confronts him, attempting to influence the decision.
“While it’s understandable for a player to highlight a missed incident to the referee, it’s inexcusable for Willie to approach the referee so aggressively without allowing a prior discussion with the AR. The frustration in Andrew Brace’s expression post this confrontation reveals just how close he was to penalizing Willie – a decision South Africa would have found hard to contest.
“Fortunately, Siya Kolisi, recognizing the gravity of Willie’s actions, quickly approached Brace to apologize, taking responsibility as the captain. Kolisi’s evident embarrassment and subsequent diplomacy underscore his commendable leadership skills. Willie must exercise better judgment in such moments, ideally consulting his captain before confronting the referee directly.
“This might seem like a minor incident now, but if it recurs in a crucial playoff match, it could result in a costly penalty for South Africa.”
This is not just one of the Internet’s arch-trolls solely writing this though, but plenty of other fans wrote the same on X over the weekend.
Take a look at le Roux’s behaviour: