Alexa

Smith sorry for attack on referee Kaplan

Smith sorry for attack on referee Kaplan

England assistant coach Brian Smith has apologized to Jonathan Kaplan for remarks he made about the South African referee following England's Six Nations loss to Wales.
Smith was rebuked by the International Rugby Board for claiming Kaplan had treated England unfairly during its 23-15 loss in Cardiff last month. Smith said he has now made peace with a referee he rates as one of the world's best.
"We have spoken since the Wales test match and I believe it was a positive conversation," Smith said. "I apologized for expressing my views publicly because it would have more productive to have raised those directly with him after the match. Jonathan is one of the best referees in the world and I'm sure we'll continue to have a healthy working relationship."
Kaplan was grateful for Smith's show of contrition.
"Brian Smith called me to apologize for his comments post match. He has acknowledged that they were unwarranted and unfounded," he said. "I am immensely proud of my contribution to the test match between Wales and England. We both have expressed our desire to move forward and I wish him and the England team the best of luck for their forthcoming fixtures."
England had two players sent to the sin bin against Wales and has conceded an average of 14 penalties per game in this year's Six Nations.
England team manager Martin Johnson initially claimed his side were victims of a "perception issue," but following the defeat to Ireland 10 days ago, which saw England pick up their tenth yellow card in four games, he pledged to crack down on indiscipline, warning that persistent offenders could be dropped.