Rugby Union

Rugby world turns on referee Craig Joubert

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The world of Rugby has turned on South African referee Craig Joubert after his disappointing and World Cup changing display in the Scotland v Australia quarter-finals match. His performance shocked fans all over the world and it shaped who reached the World Cup semi-finals.

He has been widely criticised for his performance as a result. He made two decisive calls against Scotland which changed the course of the game, and arguably sent Scotland out of the World Cup. Joubert awarded a very harsh yellow card to Sean Maitland for a deliberate knock on when there was no apparent attempt to slap down the ball, and if he had caught it he would have been away for a try.

He then made the decision to award a crucial penalty to Australia in the final seconds without consulting the TMO. His decision was incorrect and he should have in fact awarded a scrum to Australia rather than a chance at three points. With Scotland's scrum dominant, it could have led to a win. The decision left the northern hemisphere side heartbroken and captain Greig Laidlaw and coach Vern Cotter were critical of the decision afterwards. Scottish back rowers David Denton and Blair Cowan said that it had left them devastated.


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Joubert sprinted off the pitch without shaking hands with the players. That was the final straw in the frustration for the Scots.

BBC pundit John Beattie said:

"I think World Rugby have to tell us why the referee ran off the pitch. Was he being threatened by Scotland players? I don't think so. Was a bottle thrown at him? Well, that's one idiot in the crowd. If he ran off because he got the decision wrong, then that is a disgrace.

"We lost the game, but the referee was a numpty. When you're Scotland, it feels as if we're the little nation, and the big guys get the decisions. But I might be wrong."

Healey defends Scotland after controversy

The Mail reports that former England player, Austin Healey defended his fellow Britons, commenting: "Never a penalty, never, totally robbed, totally robbed."

Legendary former Scotland full-back Gavin Hastings was critical of bad decision-making at the highest level of the game, saying after the match: "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."

"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."

Should Joubert be allowed to return to refereeing Rugby at all? Give your opinion in the comment box below!

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