Ref Watch: Chris Pollock

In Ref Watch we analyse the referee who is in charge of the upcoming Springbok game

The Springboks take on Argentina on Saturday

CAPE TOWN - A referee's performance has always and will always be a controversial topic in rugby. When your team loses, it is easy to blame the ref.

When your team wins, it is certainly not because of a good refereeing performance!

In Ref Watch we take a look at the man with the whistle during Springbok games and we try to evaluate his performance by looking at the statistics and not necessarily the scoreboard.

On Twitter, follow @EWNSport ( and the hashtag #RefWatch to receive updates during and after the game as we look at the referee's performance.

The man in charge for the Boks' game against Argentina on Saturday is Chris Pollock of New Zealand. Pollock, who turns 41 in November, has had a tough couple of months as he was dropped from the Super Rugby play-off games due to poor performances in the competition, as well as in the British and Irish Lions tour opener against the Wallabies.

Pollock was criticised by the Lions camp after awarding 12 penalties to Australia, but only seven to them.

During the final round of Super Rugby Pollock found himself under the spotlight again after handing out a red card to Blues flanker Kane Barrett.

According to The Telegraph IRB statistics show that Pollock awards, on average, 17 penalties per game, a much lower figure than Wayne Barnes who averages 26 per game.

The stats also show that 65 percent of those penalties awarded are for breakdown infringements, only three in 11 going against the attacking side. Pollock also only averages 2.7 penalties per game for scrum infringements, a figure that might change under new scrum laws.

The last time Pollock was in charge in a Bok game was in 2011 when Australia beat South Africa 39-20 during the Tri-Nations.

If statistics are anything to go by Pollock will allow for a free flowing game and the attacking side will have a distinct advantage at the breakdown. To see how Pollock will adapt to the new scrums laws, only the game will tell.

Remember to follow @EWNSport on Twitter and #RefWatch to see how he performs on Saturday.

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