Audio: South African radio station prank calls referee Bryce Lawrence
Referees have been in the spotlight a lot this week. Poor old Eduardo Gonzalez is the least popular man in Armenia after sending off their goalkeeper at Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night, with many Armenians feeling he was a little too generous to Ireland.
But football doesn’t have a monopoly on wronged fans and South African rugby supporters are very unhappy with Bryce Lawrence.
The Kiwi refereed their 11-9 loss to Australia in the Rugby World Cup last weekend and some felt he gave the Wallabies all the calls in the breakdown.
Some fans decided to get on the internet to find Lawrence’s number. They succeeded but it was the wrong Bryce Lawrence they found. The non-refereeing Lawrence received hundreds of calls, usually in the middle of the night due to the time difference, all telling him what a cheat he was.
In fairness to the man, he took it well, telling the New Zealand Herald: “Well, these things happen. It’s one of these things in life.”
But then a South African radio station posted a clip claiming to be a recording of their calls to the real Bryce Lawrence. If you can endure the inane, uninformed banter, and the accusation that Lawrence favoured Australia to make up for favouring Ireland when we beat the Aussies, you will hear them make three calls to Lawrence.
Whoever is on the other end of the line takes their abuse quite well but it makes uncomfortable listening, as they tear into him with some fairly rough, and desperately unfunny, barbs.
We understand how they may feel, with the Thierry Henry thing still bothering us, but if you are going to prank call somebody in the middle of the night, at least try to be funny. Let’s just say Fonejacker has nothing to worry about with these guys.