Image: Referee Craig Joubert. Reuters / Stefan WermuthLivepic
LONDON (Reuters) – Referee Craig Joubert made the wrong decision in awarding Australia the penalty with which they sneaked a controversial 35-34 quarter-final win over Scotland at the Rugby World Cup, organisers said on Monday.
Australia flyhalf Bernard Foley converted the penalty in the match at Twickenham to send the Wallabies into a semi-final against Argentina next Sunday while distraught Scotland players and fans asked why the referee had not referred his decision to the television match official (TMO).
Joubert awarded the decisive penalty for deliberate offside by Scotland’s Jon Welsh at a lineout in the 78th minute but TV replays immediately showed Australia’s Nick Phipps had touched the ball, putting Welsh onside.
“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,” WR said in a statement.
“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.”
(Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Martyn Herman)
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