Craig Joubert robs the Kilts

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South Africa’s Craig Joubert has come in for scything criticism of his handling of the Australia v Scotland Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Twickenham on Sunday.

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News24 Sport

Joubert’s decision to award Australia a match-winning penalty for offsides in the 79th minute ultimately gave the Wallabies a 35-34 get-out-of-jail card.

But was it a penalty?

No, according to the law book.

Scotland may have knocked the ball on, but Wallaby replacement scrumhalf Nick Phibbs then touched the ball before Scotland replacement Jon Welsh played it – and was penalised for doing so.

The decision came minutes after a clear late interference by Australia’s Drew Mitchell – for which the wing apologised – which went unpunished despite the largely Scottish 77 110 crowd baying for Joubert to refer to the TMO.

In a third contentious decision, in the 42nd minute of the match Joubert yellow-carded Scotland wing Sean Maitland for a deliberate foul which was harsh in the extreme.

Joubert, who felt the wrath of French supporters for his handling of the 2011 World Cup final in New Zealand, sprinted from the field after the final whistle, not sticking around to congratulate – nor commiserate – with either team, in a move that smacked of ‘I’ve erred’.

Former Scotland legend Gavin Hastings, speaking on BBC Radio 5 said, “If I see referee Craig Joubert again, I am going to tell him how disgusted I am. It was disgraceful that he ran straight off the pitch at the end like that.

“The referee is not expected to make the right decision all the time. That’s what the TMO system is in place for. This is the quarter-final of a Rugby World Cup. This is the highest end of our sport and they have to get these decisions right.”

It remains to be seen whether Joubert will be seen again at this year’s World Cup when appointments are made for the semi-finals, third/fourth playoff and final.

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55 COMMENTS

  1. mmmmm, seems rugby needs to sort this out.. worse than FIFA on a good day, at least they do everything behind the scenes. I have no sympathy for Scotland because 1. they stuffed up their own lineout and 2. I think Japan was robbed of not playing the OZmob. *diablo*

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  2. I repeat

    I am ashamed to say such a disgraceful character is also a South African tonight…

    It is exactly what he did to wales in 2011 and then to France… it is like he has a script of who should or should not win…

    Australia does not deserve their spot tonight.

    And Craig Joubert has confirmed to me tonight that he is a thoroughly unworthy character to represent our country.

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  3. Why can’t the TMO shout “Review!” when he sees a major blunder – in the context of the game – is about to be performed?
    Why was there no doubt in Joubert’s mind, once again given the context? He may request a replay at any time.
    Hats off to the Kilts, building up after the wooden spoon in the 6N. They don’t deserve such a travesty.
    As for the Ozmob – fuck them.

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  4. I am starting to question every game that Joubert has handled. Just like 4 years ago, he went onto the field with prejudice. Why did he run off the field as soon as he blew the final whistle.

    This is an absolute farce. Even the completely biased Phil “The Whiner” Kearns called the yellow card unfair. For Joubert to even contemplate and asking the possiblity of a penalty try, just confirms his prejudice. There was no way the Wannabees would have beyond doubt scored a try if Maitland didn’t go for the intercept. Instead he would have tackled the Wannabee. And the TMO had his hand in this aswell. For the yellow card he was quick to intervene, but for the last penalty he keeps dead quiet after replays showed there was doubt. He was probably sitting back thinking “Job well done”

    For a second time the Wannabees have reached the semi finals based on referee “mistakes” Coincidence?

    I so hope the Pumas destroy them next week. If their scrum struggled yesterday, expect the front 3 of the Wannabees to exit next week a few inches shorter.

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  5. The last ruling was perhaps an honest mistake and I’m don’t think it review-able under the protocols.

    The DM late hit was very late and should have been a penalty. The TMO is also at fault here.

    The YC was rubbish

    Joubert is generally a very good referee, but to me has show a SH bias in a number of big matches over the years.

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  6. Craig made the correct call. Firstly, he wasn’t allowed to use the TMO in this instance, there are only 4 circumstances he can use the TMO (grounding in goal/ success of a kick at goal/infringement in build up or prevention of a try and acts of foul play) this wasn’t one of them. Secondly, I believe Law 11.7 is the one he correctly applied and the sanction is a penalty, not a scrum. The initial knock on came from the Scottish #9, he lost the ball forward (evidenced by Craig signalling with his arm before the Scot caught the ball in front) so the offside line is set at that point, even if Phipps makes contact with the ball (which he does) that action does not place all the “offside” Scots onside, they need to retreat behind the offside line. They didnt. Law 11.6(a) doesn’t apply because the Scot wasn’t accidentally offside (couldn’t avoid being touched by the ball), he knowingly played the ball (thinking he was onside). Right call. Very unfortunate that so much was riding on it, if it had happened in the 5th minute nobody would remember it but I feel for Craig, refs cannot adjudicate a game with “outcome bias”, their job is to enforce the rules. He did that, and got it correct.

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  7. @DavidS: David I think the issue is more with that last call than anything else….

    Like Africanomoreno said, one can take every game and point out the faults in decisions due to the laws of the game that is left to interpretations. World Rugby needs to sort out there shit

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  8. I agree with Bryce in part. I think CJ made the right call in the moment. What I question is the Deciding Phibb’s touch was not intentional? Would say the gray areas are just too much.

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  9. Bryce’s comment makes sense

    But I dunno what the hell Sides are bitching about when their games are decided on last minute penalties for. If you’ve left that too chance and are pinned in your own half and the ref gives the oppo a penalty – who is too blame. If anything it struck me that the scots were getting a lot of calls from Joubert and wouldn’t have been in the game apart from that and an intercept which looked v offside to me. Dunno what the penalty count was but there were a shitload of scrum penalties ehich could’ve just been reset. Scotland werent even in it but for an intercept try. That scrumhalf is a super whinger.

    There’s a simple way to overcome this, if a score is made in the last 5minutes which changes the lead, freeze the clock, and have it reviewed by a panel of tmo’s.

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  10. @cab: spot on – 5 tries against 3. And “late charge” not as dramatic – he clearly tried to get out of contact (and even try to turn, but on wet field contact was inevitable). People overreact to fit their own parownoia (!!)

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  11. Anyone remember the reaction regarding Poite in the NZ vs SA game where Bismark got red…
    Anyone remember the reaction 2011 QF vs Australia…
    Anyone remember the reaction to Kiwi ref in SA vs Ireland “talk to your Players” incident?
    Anyone remember the reaction to “get the japies” fax from Referee Boss in NZ?
    There are enough controvertial decision going around, sometime they favour you sometimes the Opposition. If a ref Comes out after the game and says “I fucked up, sorry” it will be half as bad but CJ running from the pitch like a bitch says more than the decisions IMO. If a Captain refuses to shake the ref’s Hand the IRB will throw the book at him, why not the other way round?
    If Foley kicked his Goals we would not having this discussion.

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  12. You have to love the couch experts in Aus. Look at the comment below left on a Fairfax site on the scrums and how the Scots cheated:

    “privately the pack was fuming about some of the penalties that Joubert awarded against them.”
    So they should be. The overhead shot showed Nel boring in at 30+ degrees every scrum, with the openside breakaway also pushing in on Sio. No wonder Sio ended up injured. This is one of the reasons why boring in is illegal: it not only gives your team an unfair advantage, it also tends to injure the tighthead. Now we have to wait and see whether our excellent tighthead, Sio, is ruled out of the semi final by Nel’s foul play.
    It’s a penalty every time. Virtually every scrum set should have been a penalty to the Wallabies for the Scot’s illegal play. The Scots can complain all they like about the last minute penalty, but frankly it was clear that they intended to scrummage illegally from the start. England tried to get away with it, and were penalised every time. The Scots should have been as well. Despite their below-standard performance, if Joubert had actually penalised the Scots at scrum time as required by the rules, they wouldn’t have got within cooee of the Wallabies. Period.
    Don’t complain about the last minute penalty – which looked valid to me – when you got away with illegal play at each scrum.”

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  13. @Benedict Chanakira:

    Thanks. I’ll be honest, if a different ref had taken that game, I think australia would’ve hammered them. The scots didn’t look dangerous at all. I think they were v lucky they had WP nel and v lucky to get all those penalties.

    The only time refs truly piss me off is when too whistle happy, don’t blow for offsides, or with a yellow, and even more a red, which just ruins the entire contest. These should be last-resorts not handed out like smarties.

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  14. Mmhhh too many interpretations in the law…

    11.3 Being put onside by opponents
    In general play, there are three ways by which an offside player can be put onside by an action of the opposing team. These three ways do not apply to a player who is offside under the 10-Metre Law.
    (a)Runs 5 metres with ball. When an opponent carrying the ball runs 5 metres, the offside player is put onside.
    (b)Kicks or passes. When an opponent kicks or passes the ball, the offside player is put onside.
    (c)Intentionally touches ball. When an opponent intentionally touches the ball but does not catch it, the offside player is put onside.

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  15. @cab: I say they put in an effort. Bekke showed the 5 tries to 3 stat. Mammoth. Foley also to blame despite being hero at the end. Too many missed goals. Poor.

    Referees are clueless at scrum time and want to be in the spotlight on most occasions and yes its irritating!

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  16. @GrootBull: I agree with this – so similar to allowing lifting in the lineouts (after years of dodgy penalties): why not allow for hands in the ruck (and also counter-rucking) and many of these known tactics at scrum time. It was obvious to everybody that WP Nel bored into his opponent – yet Scots got the penalties. And then people seems to think Joubert favoured Oz???

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  17. @Bekke: The thing about scrum penalties, it all depends on which team your support.

    On Friday I saw Kitchoff in one scrum standing at almost a 45 degree angle, showing his bum to the assistant ref, but the penalty went against the Bulls.

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  18. @Jacques (Bunny): Thanks for that Bunny – I suppose we will find out in the next few days whether Jon Welsh, the Scotsman blown up for supposedly being offside, was in fact put onside by Phipps or whether he was not put onside by virtue of the 10 metre rule.

    I would have given it to the Scots just by virtue of the fact that it was Phipps. Must be the most annoying and over-rated scrumhalf around in test sides or was Joubert confused by all the unwanted shouting from Phipps and Fardy?

    On occasions of such importance, can the ref not ask the TMO to replay the evnt on the bigscreen even if he cannot ask the TMO for a decision? I thought I could recall occasions during RWC2015 where this happened.

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  19. @Benedict Chanakira: Don’t know who you guys get in the commentary team BC, but here in NZ there was an Aussie banging on about Foley being amongst the best flyhalves in the world! I wonder what Carter, Pollard and the Argentinian Nicolas Sanchez who are worldclass would think of that. Foley has had a game or two where he shone but looked today like he’d peaked and is now in a downward spiral like some of his mates.

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  20. @out wide:

    Of course he is amongst the best 10’s in the world… his team is one of the best in the world… he is a far more rounded 10 than Pollard is… better tactical kicker, better defender and can play multiple game-plans or transitional rugby which is RSA’s achilles heel currently…

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  21. @bryce_in_oz: @out wide: I agree with Bryce. In my opinion what Foley has done for Waratahs and Aussie over the last few years has been exceptional. Had a bad game yesterday.

    I would rank the World Cup 10’s as this- Sanchez, Foley, Carter & Biggar for me. Solid men that have given their sides the edge when it didnt look good. *good*

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  22. I don’t agree re Foley. Except for the English game, he has been decidedly ordinary. He was poor at controlling his backing, with gitua and beale playing first receiver. Blew a try early on Sunday, was charged down to give away a try, missed a couple of kick on Saturday. So jury is out on him being top class. Same can be said for Bok flyhalves. I’d seriously consider playing Morne for play offs

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  23. Bryce is incorrect

    The 10 meter law does not apply in this case. It deals with off-sides after kicks only.

    This one applies:
    11.7 OFFSIDE AFTER A KNOCK-ON
    When a player knocks-on and an offside team-mate next plays the ball, the offside player is
    liable to sanction if playing the ball prevented an opponent from gaining an advantage.
    Sanction: Penalty kick

    The next player that played the ball after the knock-on was Phibbs. At that moment all Scots became on-side. The double knock-on should have given a scrum to Aus.

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  24. This 10 meter law non=sense seems to have been invented on TheRoar

    Law 10.4 should clear it up

    11.4 OFFSIDE UNDER THE 10-METRE LAW
    (a) When a team-mate of an offside player has kicked ahead, the offside player is considered to
    be taking part in the game if the player is in front of an imaginary line across the field which
    is 10 metres from the opponent waiting to play the ball, or from where the ball lands or may
    land. The offside player must immediately move behind the imaginary 10-metre line or the
    kicker if this is closer than 10 metres. While moving away, the player must not obstruct an
    opponent or interfere with play.
    Sanction: Penalty kick

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  25. @Aldo: MS wont get that gig sadly, been saying MS & ZK would be better options for us. But I will say Foley had a bad game yesterday . Against Eng, Wales he was quality especially in controlling the game in defence. I hear you and I see the gaping holes.

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  26. Think about this situation:
    Player from team A knocks the ball on.
    Player from team B picks it up and start to run under advantage.

    Are all team A players that were in front of the knock-on now off-sides until a 10m run or pass have occurred? NO
    That situation happens regularly and no referee has ever invoke the 10m law.

    I’m surprised that anyone whowatches rugby regularly could think that the 10m law applied in this case.

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  27. @Timeo:

    The 10 meter only applies to kicking. And what people dont interpret correctly is that it is 10 meters in any direction. It is not a line but a circle in effect. If the player receiving the ball is for instance 5 m from the sideline when catching the ball a player on the side sideline can step over the sideline thus being out of play and then advance to the ball catcher again. Very few realise that.

    Also if the ball was kick over the sideline and a quick throw in is taken, no one can be called offside anymore.

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  28. @Deon:

    Scrum calls are a lottery at the best of times, but in my opinion the the Aus prop buckled in the first 2 scrums and after that the referee had a bias against him. Cheika should have subbed him earlier.

    When one judge whether a loosehead bored in, one should also regard that tightheads like to bore in onto the hooker themselves and it then becomes impossible for the loosehead to stay straight.

    I think referees simply call whatever is most obvious to them.

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  29. @Deon: Haha – no need to pray mate, unfortunately I also have to work for my money… Of course he bores into the hooker – and by elbowing down on the tighthead’s arm, the only way is Essex (down and scrum swinging!) – or injury to the tighthead (as what happened on Sunday).

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  30. Interesting comments by Cheika:
    “He (Joubert) gave it as a penalty. It’s been pretty interesting to see how things have gone down. I’ve been really interested to see some of the rhetoric that’s come out about officialdom over the week,” Cheika told a news conference on Monday.

    “I know that’s the point that everyone’s focusing on but no one’s congratulating Joubert for picking up the tiniest knock-on before we scored the try in the corner and going back to the TMO.

    “Some decisions you’ll get and some decisions you won’t. Everything in rugby is open to interpretation because everything in rugby is a contest. And that’s the great thing about rugby; it’s a contest sport.”

    Joubert sprinted off at the end of the match without shaking the hands of the players, but Cheika saw nothing unusual.

    “Someone threw a bottle at him, didn’t they? I’d be racing off too if I saw a bottle coming. I don’t think anything of him going off quickly.

    “I don’t like the way that people are making something out of the way he ran off the field. You’ve got to assess the things for what they are and not the more romantic nature of what we’re all thinking. He’s just a person like everyone else.”

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  31. Well put Bryce-
    I took your rule explanation
    And watched the replay
    He got it spot on.
    However the running of the pitch was silly.
    I’m not overly fond of the jocks unless they play England .
    And I can’t wait for someone to give their no9 n ma Se PK.
    He has it coming.

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  32. Well put Bryce-
    I took your rule explanation
    And watched the replay
    He got it spot on.
    However the running of the pitch was silly
    Didn’t know about the bottle
    I’m not overly fond of the jocks unless they play England .
    And I can’t wait for someone to give their no9 n ma Se PK.
    He has it coming.

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  33. @Duiwel: Unfortunately the spineless IRB or World Rugby or what they want to call themselves have put the knife deeper in Joubert back…..

    Seems David is the one that is right here….

    The World Rugby match official selection committee has confirmed the controversial decision made by referee Craig Joubert in Sunday’s quarter-final was wrong.

    Following a full review of the penalty that enabled flyhalf Bernard Foley to secure a one-point win for the Wallabies over Scotland at Twickenham, World Rugby clarified that a scrum should have been awarded instead.

    ‘The selection committee confirms that Joubert applied World Rugby Law 11.7 penalising Scotland’s Jon Welsh, who had played the ball following a knock-on by a teammate, resulting in an offside,’ a statement released late on Monday read.

    ‘On review of all available angles, it is clear that after the knock-on, the ball was touched by Australia’s Nick Phipps and Law 11.3(c) states that a player can be put onside by an opponent who intentionally plays the ball.

    ‘In this case, Law 11.3(c) should have been applied, putting Welsh onside. The appropriate decision, therefore, should have been a scrum to Australia for the original knock-on.’

    While confirming Joubert’s mistake, World Rugby high-performance match official manager Joël Jutge came out in defence of the South African referee.

    ‘Despite this experience, Craig has been and remains a world-class referee and an important member of our team.’
    By: SARugbyMAG.co.za

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  34. TMO was not an option in this case, only called for foul play, try situations not for calls like this. We all make mistakes but how we face up to them is key. Option 1. apologize and take it on the chin, option 2. run like a little bitch. CJ took option 2 and that is still a disgrace!

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  35. geez guys.
    The law book is easy to download and search. Any one of you could have looked this up and came to the correct conclusion.

    The 10 meter explanation is so far off the mark, it’s not even funny

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  36. @JT_BOKBEFOK!:

    Perhaps one could also use a loop hole.
    eg. By sneaking a look at the big screen and reversing the call without referring to the TMO.

    Or asking the TMO to take another look at the late charge. In my understanding foul play reviews are not restricted.

    Or make up a foul play question. Eg. Ask the TMO to check if there was an early tackle on the Scot. Then correct the decision yourself based on the obvious evidence.

    Not to help out Scotland as much as helping out his own career.

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