A book has revealed the reported lengths that the Springboks took to attempt to get referee Jerome Garces on their side in the Rugby World Cup final victory over England last year.
South Africa claimed a 32-12 victory over Eddie Jones' side to record a third World Cup title, their first since 2007.
A new book called Miracle Men, written by Lloyd Burnard, charts the successful tournament for the Springboks and the crazy lengths the side went to to get Garces in their favour during the final.
South Africa 'flattered referee Jerome Garces over his physique' to get favourable decisions in World Cup final. South Africa only slightly got the rub of the green in the penalty count in the victory winning 10-8, although Handre Pollard turned six of them into points.
According to the book, South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus did extensive research into the mannerisms of the referees at the tournament. It led to the side doing role playing meetings to prepare for certain referees and also going as far as completing Garces on his fitness in a hope to flatter him.
"The research included analysis on how the referees blew games of rugby, from scrummaging to the dark arts at the breakdown and the offside line. But it went much deeper than that,' an excerpt of Miracle Men published by SA Rugby Magazine says.
"The level of detail in the refereeing reports included personality traits, all with the hope of finding an edge.
"The Springboks would role play at team meetings and at training sessions, practising what they would say to the match officials with the research in mind.
"The report compiled on Garces, for example, revealed that he responded well to being complimented on his physical appearance.
"If the match was fast-paced, the Boks would make a point of praising Garces on his condition and his ability to keep up with the players, hoping to rub him up the right way."
The book also reveals the Springboks would play 'good cop, bad cop'', with Garces where Duane Vermeulen would raise concerns with the referee before captain Siya Kolisi would step in.