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It seems that Craig Joubert was indeed wrong to award a controversial penalty to Australia in the 78th minute of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Twickenham on Sunday.

News24 Sport

Australian flyhalf Bernard Foley succeeded with his resultant attempt at goal, giving the Wallabies a 35-34 victory over a gallant Scottish side who were left heartbroken by Joubert’s decision.

In a statement released on Monday, World Rugby confirmed that Joubert should not have awarded a penalty to Australia, but in fact, a scrum.

“Following a full review of match officials’ performance, the World Rugby match official selection committee has clarified the decision made by referee Craig Joubert to award a penalty to Australia for offside in the 78th minute of the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-final between Australia and Scotland at Twickenham.

“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 team-mate, resulting in an offside.

“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 on-side by an opponent who intentionally plays the ball.

“It is important to clarify that, under the protocols, the referee could not refer to the television match official in this case and therefore had to rely on what he saw in real time. 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.

“Overall, it is widely recognised that the standard of officiating at Rugby World Cup 2015 has been very high across 44 compelling and competitive matches to date.”

The statement also contained some encouragement for Joubert, specifically from Joël Jutge, World Rugby’s High-Performance Match Official Manager.

“Despite this experience, Craig has been and remains a world-class referee and an important member of our team,” said Jutge.

Whether Joubert will play a further part in the Rugby World Cup remains to be seen.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Boertjie. With reference to your question on whether CJ will play any further role at RWC2015 it looks like some sanity has prevailed and he will not. He is not amongst the referees for the semis this coming weekend and neither is Nigel Owens. Highly likely Owens is being kept back to ref the final and Joubert is on the plane home as the get of jail Aussies should have been.

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  2. The theme of RWC is the World in Union but there could not be more evidence of disunity than the Wallabies undeserved victory has caused. The Scots denied their first ever RWC semi are justifiably outraged. Remember the death threats Bryce Lawrence received over the phone following the Boks exit at RWC2011? Meanwhile anyone with an Aussie affiliation is blindly arguing that Joubert was right to yellow card Maitland , was right to award the last minute match-saving penalty and yes, Scott Sio and his replacement Slipper were poor scrummagers because WP Nel was scrumming illegally.

    Forget the armchair critics, for those who are interested in reading an unbiased Aussie comment (yes there are Aussies like the writer Sam Bruce and his colleague Greg Growden who can take off their yellow tinted glasses) I refer you to piece on ESPN on just how bad, yet how fortunate their side was. As he states, the Argentinians and after that Boks or AB’s will not be worried by this Aussie performance.

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  3. The BBC ( Bunny & BC ) World Cup Champion Hail Mary pick was always gonna need a little help.

    In this instance it wasn’t Diego Maradona’s ” Hand of God”…….
    It was Craig Joubert.

    He can’t just go on after this. The must be PENANCE on his part.
    He understands this. That’s why he gets the big bucks.

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  4. So Craig has now been involved in the dodgy 2011 final, the Crusaders game (he apologised for this one), and this Scotland game. In the case of Scotland and Crusaders it was game changing decisions in the last minutes.

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  5. Well what do you know, there now might just be a place opening up for all the armchair critics to get in shape, pick up a whistle and show the world how a perfect referee does the job.

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  6. And if armchair experts got it right on the immediate view (not counting the lekker old shoulder charge by Drew Mitchell on Hogg) the question begs answering… are our referees good and professional enough? I have said for two years they are not…

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  7. @DavidS:

    it is a tough Job and when you are running around at the same Level (eye Level) as the Players it can happen that a Player blocks your view of an incident. Yes you can miss something but you should never guess – that is what Joubert did here IMO.

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  8. @DavidS:

    So what you are saying is that if you ref a game you will blow it perfectly without 1 mistake after being allowed to study the laws?

    you forget the ref does not have the luxury of the best tv angle to watch the match from. If Joubert genuinely thought it came off of Straus then his call was spot on.

    the fact that the best ref’s in the world often make mistakes just indicates how difficult a job it is.

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  9. @DavidS:

    I’m not saying that they are stupid, just a bit hasty and not understanding sometimes. Shouting from the peanut gallery without actually willing wear the shoes of the other person.

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  10. @Ollie:

    That’s why there are replays and TMOs:
    For the ref to make sure he is human after
    all and prone to mistakes.
    When it comes to critical decisions like this –
    and the one in the Crusader match – REVIEW!
    That is you right!

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  11. @Boertjie:

    It’s not a right at the moment, in that situation.

    Also, like I said, what about when you brain and eyes are “sure”? you cannot go to the TMO for every decision just to certainty.

    As fans we will have to live with the fact that errors are made and that there is constant training for the refs so that can continually improve

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  12. @Ollie:
    Why? Refs often asks the TMO re offsides when tries are scored?
    Then the laws regarding TMOs should change. Mistakes of this magnitude – lose or win – given all the technology should not be allowed

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  13. Best way to ensure these calls do not influence your game: (1) score more tries than other team (2) play in the opposition’s half (3) if you are slightly ahead, with less than 5 minutes to go: PLAY IN OPPOSITION’S HALF (4) if shit happens and you have a line-out in your half, with 2 minutes to go: Throw at the front of the line-out, CATCH the ball, keep possession for 2 minutes or GET TO THE OPPOSITION’S half. If you do none of the above – shit happens in real life, deal with it!

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  14. Unless you are wearing a skirt. With a babyface scrumhalve looking for a klap. Then you will have an army of supporters telling you the other team (who scored more tries, and played for 81 minutes) are the losers…

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  15. I still reckon Joubert got it right. What about law 11.9? Loitering. It basically states that a players that stays offside (looters) and then gains from that position, cannot be put onside by a player intentionally playing the ball. All in all, we can discuss this to death, but we have the advantage of hhindsight, Joubert didn’t. We have replays, Joubert not. I’d hate for a call like that to go against the Boks and would swear in game, but watching replays, see how wrong I am.

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