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Junior Wallabies coach labels refereeing decisions ‘a disgrace’ at U20 World Championship

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Monday Jul 3, 2023

Australian U20 Rugby head coach Nathan Grey has labelled the refereeing during his sides 30 – 10 loss to Ireland as a disgrace.

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Ireland’s bonus point victory see’s them joint atop of Pool B with England ahead of round three whilst the Australians are three points behind in third.

Following the two primary incidents in question, Ireland have had two players suspended as Rory Telfer and James McNabney saw their Championship come to a disappointing end.

During the match, Telfer was shown a yellow card whilst McNabney’s incident went unpunished.

Despite the two missed incidents, Ireland by and large dominated the Australians. In particular in the forward exchanges where the Irish pack physically outmuscled their opponents.

Speaking post-match, Grey vented his frustrations about the two incidents saying: “It’s a disgrace. It shouldn’t happen.

“I’ve got a squad of 30 guys led by Teddy (Wilson) who work their absolute arses off to put ourselves in position and then these things happen.

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“The red cards should’ve happened and there should’ve been 45 minutes where we’re playing against 13 or 14 men.

“Ned gets knocked out by a guy carrying the ball who actively ducks into contact and literally headbutts him as he’s going into a very good tackle technique

“I don’t know what’s going on. We’ll just concentrate on what we can control and that’s how we prepare and play.

“It’s a real shame but these things happen in footy so we’re got to take stock of it. Certainly not happy about it but it’s done so now we have to move onto England.”

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Looking ahead to their final pool game, captain Teddy Wilson agreed with his coach’s frustrations but didn’t want to dwell on the past.

“It’s frustrating when some calls don’t go your way but we’ve got a clear plan for England moving forward,” Wilson said.

“We know with the team and squad we have at the moment we can definitely get the job done on them.

“That’s our pure focus is on what we can control and that’s on Tuesday against England.”

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