Politics & Inconsistency: A Rugby World Cup tale

Scotland fell agonisingly short of a dramatic upset win, when they were pinged by Craig Joubert for an offside in the dying minutes of their quarter final against Australia.

The decision has sparked outrage among Scotland and the home nations, as it provided Bernard Foley with the match winning penalty.

A World Rugby selection panel headed by the Scottish John Jefferey have reviewed the call and subsequently World Rugby made a statement yesterday admitting Joubert’s error.

Any claims of bias will be later reviewed by a World Rugby panel headed by an Australian…

Because World Rugby are fair like that.

Another World Rugby panel, this time headed by Fumiaki Tualagi, a Samoan official who grew up in Japan, has since made a statement:

“Joubert’s decision has been a blessing from the rugby Gods, as only a week earlier Japan were denied their first ever quarter final qualification. This outcome was the result of the Scots scoring a match winning try from their own knock on against Samoa.”

Try in question can be located at 2 minutes 30 seconds

“At the time we didn’t push for a review of the decision but World Rugby have now set a new precedence. So we thought… Why the hell not?”

“Upon review, it is clear that Greig Laidlaw’s decisive match winning try should not have been awarded. If the TMO had been used, it would have been disallowed, as it was blatantly clear that Laidlaw had knocked the ball on.”

These events have raised two large questions…

1- When will World Rugby make the other statements about the dozens of other errors in this World Cup?


2- After all the abuse directed at Joubert, who would ever want to be a referee?

Have your say below.

Stay classy World Rugby.

Nelson Dale

3 thoughts on “Politics & Inconsistency: A Rugby World Cup tale

  1. The personal attack and abuse on Craig Joubert have been disgusting.

    I am no Joubert fan, however I believe no matter which side of the argument you are on, a man who is given a split second to make a decision with such weight as the one in the 78th minute of the quarter final. Who does not have the luxury of reply, slow motion and multiple angles, never deserves this kind of abuse.

    This is not the first time this has happened and I doubt it will be the last, however I believe it is something that does not belong in our game.

    World Rugby’s action to support the mob of Joubert haters, is an utter disgrace.
    Aside from the fact that it was a Scotsman who was at the head of the review panel, whether Joubert was right or wrong, he was only able to make a decision with what he saw at the time.

    Where is the apology from world rugby to Japan who didn’t qualify due to an awarded knock on try by Scotland to beat Samoa, qualifying them for the match with Australia.

    Where is the apology for any of the dozens of likely incorrect calls throughout the World Cup?

    It is a sad truth that a 50/50 call in the dying minutes can decide the outcome of a match, however there were a number of penalties earlier in the game that could have been awarded to the wallabies to give them the opportunity for the win, denying Scotland the chance of that 78th minute decision. A few scrums come to mind. Are these potential wrong calls less important?!

    A referee is a professional and their performance should be reviewed, but there is no excuse for this sort of personal attack.

    World Rugby you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Scotsman, whether I believe it was the right or wrong call, there is no denying that we got lucky and that the Scottish side played out of their skin and deserve to take a lot of pride from their performance.

    In the end the result could have gone either way.

    But after these actions, who in their right mind would want to grow up and become a referee?


  2. A comment like this would have been far better one for World Rugby to make:

    After looking at video footage from multiple camera angles & in slow motion that Craig Joubert did not have access to, a panel of expert referees have concluded that the correct outcome was a scrum, Gold feed or Advantage Gold for a Blue knock on.

    In saying that, it is important to stress that this happened very quickly, and would have been very difficult to see in real time. Under current protocols, Craig Joubert could not refer the incident to the television match official and therefore had to rely on what he saw in real time. With that in mind, World Rugby backs the decision that Craig Joubert made on the field.

    Craig Joubert has been, and remains, a world-class referee and is an important member of the World Rugby Elite Referee team.

    In any match of 80 minutes duration, there are many thousands of decisions that Match Officials have to make in real time, and all of them impact on the end result of the game, not just those decisions made in the last 5 minutes of the game.

    As is usual World Rugby practice, after every test match, the referee’s performances are analysed by expert Referee Coaches, and feedback is given to the individual referees. It is not World Rugby intention to comment on individual decisions made by referees in the context of a game, particularly when the analysis and debriefing process is still underway.

    We have chosen to comment in this case, and we support the decision made by the Referee at the time even though forensic analysis of all the available footage suggests that that an incorrect decision may have been made. Rugby is a very complex game and if every infringement was pulled up strictly in accordance with the Laws of the Game, the game would be a very stop start affair.

    World Rugby is looking into how we can assist match officials in critical calls and to simplify the Laws.

    World Rugby is disappointed that some fans, former International Players and elements in the rugby media have taken it upon themselves to undertake a campaign of vicious personal attacks on Craig Joubert as a result.

    The Rugby World Cup moves on to the Semi Final phase, which will see all 3 previous double World Cup winners and the new kid on the block going head to head this coming weekend at Twickenham Stadium in London … yada yada yada


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