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Monday Oct 19, 2015

'Penalty was the wrong call' says World Rugby review of Craig Joubert decision

'Penalty was the wrong call' says World Rugby review of Craig Joubert decision
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Following a review of the match officials’ performance, as is standard protocol, World Rugby have confirmed that the decision made by Craig Joubert to award a penalty for Australia in the 78th minute against Scotland was in fact incorrect.

World Rugby have released a statement following the massive public outcry about the controversial decision that effectively cost Scotland the game. The statement reads as follows:

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.

– Australia vs Scotland Highlights and Discussion –

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.

World Rugby High Performance Match Official Manager Joël Jutge said: “Despite this experience, Craig has been and remains a world-class referee and an important member of our team.”

All match official performances are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee comprising John Jeffrey (Chairman), Lyndon Bray (SANZAR), Andrew Cole (SANZAR), Donal Courtney (EPCR), Clayton Thomas (Six Nations) and World Rugby High Performance Match Official Manager Joël Jutge.

Semi Final Referees Appointed

The officials for the Semi Final stage have now been selected, with Jérôme Garcès and Wayne Barnes selected as referees for the two big games.

Frenchman Garces will referee the first semi-final at Twickenham between South Africa and New Zealand on Saturday (kick-off 16:00). Compatriot Romain Poite and Ireland’s John Lacey will be his assitants, with Australia’s George Ayoub appointed as the television match official.

At Twickenham on Sunday England’s Wayne Barnes will officiate the Argentina vs Australia second semi-final (kick-off 16:00). His assistant referees will be Jaco Peyper of South Africa and Ireland’s George Clancy. New Zealand’s Ben Skeen will be TMO.

With his team out of the tournament and having been consistently excellent for a long time now, Nigel Owens looks set to take the final. That will be announced next week.

50 Comments

  • oldflyhalf
    8:08 AM 25/10/2015

    c.joubert&cheika 35 - scotland 34 :(

    Reply
  • stroudos
    4:07 PM 23/10/2015

    Is it? Even with the context of the preceding sentences?

    Reply
  • oldflyhalf
    3:38 PM 23/10/2015

    ...are you Cheika ? :)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    3:09 PM 23/10/2015

    DrG, I don't know which incident you were thinking of, but in my opinion the best use of the big screen by a referee was Garces upgrading a yellow card for Stuart Hogg to a red after he jumped into Dan Biggar's temple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImYlu7THs9o I think he was entitled to change the decision like this because it's foul play. Either way, I think it was a marvellous exhibition of common sense and making best use of the available technology. The fly in the ointment here of course is the business about home TV producers influencing the ref by showing multiple replays of incidents that would suit their team to have reviewed. The solution would presumably be neutral TV producers in charge of the live broadcast, but I'm not sure how practical that is.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:51 PM 22/10/2015

    Ah right ok. Yeh I was suggesting he refer it to the TMO, or ask for replays, but merely because he seemed to see it on the screen himself, I wasn't sure if he could have changed his tack.

    Reply
  • rememberthemer
    10:30 AM 22/10/2015

    Based on the evidence available to him, Joubert made the correct call.

    Reply
  • weejockmcplop
    8:55 AM 22/10/2015

    It's easy to say take it on the chin, but when you are constantly on the wrong end of poor officiating you can understand why all the furore. Aa an SACanuckinOZ (is there anywhere in the commonwealth you've not been too ;-) ), I would think that you would understand that given that the Boks also seem to be on the wrong end of a lot poor refereeing displays...or am i wrong

    Reply
  • weejockmcplop
    8:48 AM 22/10/2015

    What hooligan fans. There were no missiles thrown. If there were then there would have been a police report. This is not football, these were not loutish football ultras. These were people who came to watch a rugby match, were served up a fantastic game that ebbed and flowed and in the end the better team won. But sadly that win came as the result of some poor officiating that has left the Scots feeling very aggrieved...again! Booing yes, but that was as he sprinted off the pitch. Yes he had no assistance from his TMO of linesman but watch Nigel Owens in a game. He talks to the players and uses his TMO to help him. If he misses something he will find a suitable time to stop and review and go back. He is not afraid to admit if he makes a mistake

    Reply
  • weejockmcplop
    8:42 AM 22/10/2015

    Phipps clearly plays the ball, marginal or not there is contact therefore no offside. Problem here is that we are focussing on this incident and turning a blind eye to the other controversial incidents in the game. Yes Joubert was probably evenly inconsistent (if you can be such a thing) in the scrum, breakdown etc. But the sin-binning of Maitland was wrong and his failure to award a penalty for the late hit on Hogg, or indeed the touch judge or TMO to pick that one up is ridiculous. That more than the penalty he did give caused the defeat. I am all for supporting refs, who have a difficult time with the complexity of rugby and the general mayhem that can be a game. However Joubert has shown consistently that he does not have what it takes to referee at this level. Ask any frenchman about that. As others have said if WR are throwing him under the bus now it is 4 years too late. Yet again we have what should be a fantastic game of rugby marred by all the talk being about the ref and not the game. That is not good for the game, the world cup or anyone.

    Reply
  • oldflyhalf
    8:13 AM 22/10/2015

    "The contact by Phipps was so minimal and so inconsequential that it should be disregarded." this assertion is downright stupid.

    Reply
  • katman
    6:30 AM 22/10/2015

    If touch judge had spotted something, he would have flagged Joubert. That's normally how is happens. He didn't, so he probably didn't see the Aus hand either.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    10:24 PM 21/10/2015

    No, I think I understood you correctly the first time... sending something to the TMO or checking a decision on a big screen both amount to a video review. So because this wasn't a reviewable decision, he had to stick with his original call. Owens, in contrast, was able to change his call because tries are reviewable. I think that's the key difference here.

    Reply
  • drg
    3:53 PM 21/10/2015

    Isn't this the same kind of 'right' that I think when I see a player swing and arm into the ear of another player thats tugging his shirt in a ruck? Morally and ethically right, but technically and in the eyes of the law, wrong..

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    3:52 PM 21/10/2015

    I think the rule stipulates that if Phipps in this case tried to play the ball, the Scotland players shouldn't be considered off-side. And to me, he does attempt to play the ball... opinions may differ, but there you go. The fact that Phipps' touch was so marginal is however critical in taking blame away from Joubert - it's very easy to see how he missed it, and because he did, his penalty decision made sense. And when you factor in he couldn't consult the TMO either, the criticism he is getting for this particular decision begins to look pretty absurd.

    Reply
  • drg
    3:50 PM 21/10/2015

    That's a bit of a weak comment.... Had mumma Scot given birth to a team of ginger Lomus then Australia would have lost.... But she didn't...and Foley had a shit day with the boot, and Scotland lost by 1 point, which was gained by an incorrect call... It doesn't mean they'd still have won though...

    Reply
  • drg
    3:47 PM 21/10/2015

    Sorry I wasn't completely clear, what I meant was, Nigel thought he saw something on the screen so asked for a review...if Joubert DID see something, could he back track himself and his reasoning be because he saw it on the screen? I'm over the fact he couldn't go to the TMO now haha...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:27 PM 21/10/2015

    Or, in Monsieur Owens's case, a fist in .... oh never mind, I think you know where this is going, hopefully I stopped early enough for Mr Dump to not remove this...

    Reply
  • katman
    7:49 AM 21/10/2015

    You do realise of course that the touch judge could have intervened without the referee asking. This is, in fact, how it normally works - the touch judge spots something the referee didn't and sticks his flag out. The ref saunters over, they have a chat and the ref potentially changes his decision. This didn't happen, and this can only mean the touch judge didn't see it either.

    Reply
  • denis
    7:50 PM 20/10/2015

    If Joubert was to be criticised it should have been for his very erratic performance in the last World Cup final. Questions about his suitability should have been asked then. The intervention of rugby officialdom in this instance makes Rugby's governing body look just as stupid and vindictive as football's UEFA.

    Reply
  • colombes
    6:38 PM 20/10/2015

    The World Rugby Review, even if it was a magazine i wouldn't read it. Rugby is unfortunately full of injustices... Fortunately, we won't see Joubert dispense justice in this world cup.

    Reply
  • colombes
    4:02 PM 20/10/2015

    New irb protocole: "is it a try yes or no? Be quick or it will be a fist in the face."

    Reply
  • gonzoman
    3:56 PM 20/10/2015

    Hi Larry, The Scot gathering the ball did in fact prevent the Aussies from gaining advantage, even if he released it right after: he's prevented them from playing the ball as they would have it, instead making them play it a second or two later, and from a position that he dictates (and that is less favourable for the Aussies). As to the Assistant referee debate, it's likely that the Assistant referees missed it too - it was a brief touch and there were bodies in the way, not to mention a decent distance between the sideline and where the play happened.

    Reply
  • larry
    3:53 PM 20/10/2015

    I'm sorry about this whole affair. There's already too much video reviews going on in a number of sports. It's making American baseball, already known for being a slow sport, be much slower than it already is. Regarding this situation, knowing full well that this decision was going to be a game breaker, could not Joubert have consulted the touch judge about who touched the ball in the knock on last, or if it was touched simultaneously by blue and yellow? At the worst for Scotland, an accidental offside call would have given the Aussies the put in at the scrum. At the best, the referee would have apologized for blowing the whistle when free play should have been allowed to commence, and awarded Scotland a scrum put-in. I do put blame on Joubert for not consulting his touch judge on that side of the pitch. I do also blame the touch judge for not trying to intervene. He could have put out his flag and gotten the referees attention and told him if he saw yellow touch the ball after blue knocked forward the ball. It wouldn't be the first time a touch judge pointed out to a referee whether a ball was knocked forward or a pass was forward. It happens often enough. A good referee refers to a touch judge when needed, and in this case he needed to consult with the touch judge, as there were plenty of players on both teams screaming their case.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    3:49 PM 20/10/2015

    Matt, if a scrumhalf can't pick the ball up cleanly from the back of a ruck, he's failing on his entire reason for being there in the first place and deserves to be penalised. I would compare it to a goal-kicker asking to retake a conversion attempt because there was a gust of wind just after he kicked it the first time. Back to our plucky scrumhalf, I don't care if the ball he just dropped goes forward or not, it's a handling error. Scrum, with opposition to put in. If the 9 is incredibly flukey and the ball *clearly* goes backwards, then yeah I suppose you can give him the benefit of the doubt. That hardly ever happens and I don't believe it did in this case.

    Reply
  • larry
    3:44 PM 20/10/2015

    In real time the referee didn't see the Aussie hand touch the ball. Could he have consulted the touch judge, in that no video review is allowed in that situation? I say he could have. I only can imagine that the touch judge saw that an Aussie hand touched the ball subsequently to the knock on, or practically at the same time. He could have corrected the decision. It wouldn't have been the first time a touch judge intervened in getting a decision reversed.

    Reply
  • larry
    3:40 PM 20/10/2015

    And obviously the referee didn't see the ball hit the Australian hand. The Scot knock on and subsequent touch of the ball by an Aussie was totally missed, and Joubert must have thought the ball had only been touched and knocked forward by a player in a blue jersey. My question is about what happened afterward: did the Scot who caught the ball keep it from being played by opponents? He went to ground and released the ball, and therefore the ball could have been played by opponents nearby if no whistle went. Now after the whistle, perhaps Joubert could have consulted the touch judge on that side, especially if Scot players complained that an Aussie hand touched the ball after the knock forward. I guess the touch judge could have intervened by holding out his flag too, and then corrected the referee. Then Joubert could have reversed his decision, and awared a scrum to Scotland based on the fact that free play occurred because the ball had touched an Aussie hand, and that there was no offside or even an accidental offside.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:47 PM 20/10/2015

    Eh, the outcry against Bryce Lawrence after the 2011 WC was extreme. Perhaps there wasn't the same degree of former players piling on in social media, but he was vilified by South African fans especially. It was really nasty.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:42 PM 20/10/2015

    They have a limited number of reviews in cricket - not always though, some teams (eg, India) refuse to have a video umpire officiate in series. If a team doesn't review a wrong decision (either because they can't, or choose not to), they don't replay it a million times on the big screen to get the crowd riled up and on the umpire's back. It was a protocol established before the review system was implemented to protect umpires. Unlike you, I do have sympathy for Joubert - he made a mistake running from the field, I hope he apologizes for that, but that was a horrendous situation he was in with al the videos showing a potential error on his decision and his being a position to do nothing about it. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. As for why he's regarded as top ref, World Rugby closely evaluates every ref, every game they handle. Take it up with them if you think they need to change their methodology.

    Reply
  • katman
    1:31 PM 20/10/2015

    Definitely goes forward. Only question: is it from Laidlaw's hand or from Denton's foot. Looks like Laidlaw's hand, but there would have been at least two other TV angles available had they wanted to check. Which they didn't, so try stands. Scotland wins. Japan goes home. Scotland plays in QF. The luck of the bounce, rub of the green etc. etc. On another day, this would have been spotted and called as a knock on. You take your lucky breaks when they are on offer. I guess this is what Australia did on the weekend. Not all that different.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:28 PM 20/10/2015

    For most decisions, refs don't consult the assistant. For foul play, they often will, but most of the time, refs are closest to the action and are best placed to make the call.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:23 PM 20/10/2015

    I don't think so. Because it was a penalty decision, not a try, he wasn't allowed to ask for video review.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:36 PM 20/10/2015

    Couldn't agree more mate. He is painfully slow as well, deliberates over the decisions for an eternity and is then extremely unclear in his communication back to the ref. Actually this applies to a lesser degree to all of the bloody TMOs. I love the relationship Nigel Owens has with the TMOs - "Nigel, let's check X?", "No, piss off I've seen it, playing on". Also, there was one (might have been Skeen), holding the game up while he reviewed his umpteenth bloody angle, Nigel got on his case, TMO responded "be patient Nigel". Don't remember exactly what Nige said, but it was a diplomatic version of "no I won't bloody be patient, we're trying to play a rugby match here!".

    Reply
  • drg
    12:29 PM 20/10/2015

    Do you remember that occasion Nigel Owens awarded a try and then halted the conversion when his eye caught the big screen? He went to the TMO, it ended up being nothing and the try and subsequent conversion was allowed... Would Joubert not be allowed to do the same?

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:23 PM 20/10/2015

    That kind of fumble by a scrumhalf is *always* ruled a knock-on if spotted, regardless of the direction the ball moves in - I mean it's got to be really clearly backwards to get away with it.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:20 PM 20/10/2015

    "why wasn't there a penalty for a late hit on Hogg?" Because he's been caught diving/simulating/cheating on at least one occasion and, like the boy who cried wolf, when it happened for real nobody gave a toss about him.

    Reply
  • fergus
    12:04 PM 20/10/2015

    What I can't understand is why Joubert is still allowed to officiate in games at this level. All the talk of him being a "World Class Referee" leave me dubitative. His officiating of the final 4 years ago was a total mess and, once again, provided an outcome that was the result of bad/blind/incompetent/ biased refereeing and not the result of a fair game.between 2 teams. On that performance alone he should have been demoted to semi-professional level. He has always been a controversial referee and his decisions are, to say the least, inconsistent. The fact that all referees get it wrong sometimes is indisputable and match results often swing on those decisions. Scotland played a great game and I think everyone agrees that it was a surprisingly close match. The fact that Foley was having a bad night with the sticks and a better performance from him would have seriously changed the scoreboard long before that final penalty is just another "what if". The fact that Australia scored a try in the exact corner where Maitland would have been defending had he not been sin-binned and could have possibly prevented it is another "what if..."I am not defending the Scots; they screwed up in that final line-out and probably deserved to lose the match because of poor judgement and very bad handling at a crucial moment. Australia won the match and there's no point in crying over split milk. I have no sympathy for Joubert though. Running from the pitch like he did at the end of the game is disrespectful, cowardly and shows the mental state of the man. I think he is just not psychologically not equipped for the stress of the situation. The declaration from WR is pitiful; it'll put an additional strain on match referees and the 'sanction' on Joubert comes too late... 4 years too late. On the last point; cricket games do have TMO's and they do intervene in controversial decisions. What's more team captains can call for replays when they are convinced that a decision is wrong.

    Reply
  • fergus
    12:04 PM 20/10/2015

    What I can't understand is why Joubert is still allowed to officiate in games at this level. All the talk of him being a "World Class Referee" leave me dubitative. His officiating of the final 4 years ago was a total mess and, once again, provided an outcome that was the result of bad/blind/incompetent/ biased refereeing and not the result of a fair game.between 2 teams. On that performance alone he should have been demoted to semi-professional level. He has always been a controversial referee and his decisions are, to say the least, inconsistent. The fact that all referees get it wrong sometimes is indisputable and match results often swing on those decisions. Scotland played a great game and I think everyone agrees that it was a surprisingly close match. The fact that Foley was having a bad night with the sticks and a better performance from him would have seriously changed the scoreboard long before that final penalty is just another "what if". The fact that Australia scored a try in the exact corner where Maitland would have been defending had he not been sin-binned and could have possibly prevented it is another "what if..."I am not defending the Scots; they screwed up in that final line-out and probably deserved to lose the match because of poor judgement and very bad handling at a crucial moment. Australia won the match and there's no point in crying over split milk. I have no sympathy for Joubert though. Running from the pitch like he did at the end of the game is disrespectful, cowardly and shows the mental state of the man. I think he is just not psychologically not equipped for the stress of the situation. The declaration from WR is pitiful; it'll put an additional strain on match referees and the 'sanction' on Joubert comes too late... 4 years too late. On the last point; cricket games do have TMO's and they do intervene in controversial decisions. What's more team captains can call for replays when they are convinced that a decision is wrong.

    Reply
  • oliver
    9:28 AM 20/10/2015

    this just might be the first time we agree about something on RD.........probably because neither the French nor the Irish team are involved!!

    Reply
  • weejockmcplop
    8:47 AM 20/10/2015

    Ok haven't checked, there maybe a knock-on but what I did see was the Samoan prop continually feeding to the second row at scrums and that wasn't picked up. I though the ref in the Samoan age was reasonable with no howlers. Joubert on the other hand made several. So let's ignore the last one and ask - why wasn't there a penalty for a late hit on Hogg. That's foul play and can be reviewed by the TMO. Oh and if you look at the line out, Hardie is high tackled which is also a penalty but not picked up by either the TMO, Joubert or the touch judge. It would not be fair to say that Joubert cheated, I believe he did the best job he could, it's just that he is not very good and controversy seems to stalk him wherever he goes. I find it very hard to believe that he is one of the top referees in the world. THere's far better running the lie in the Top 14, Premiership, Pro12 wherever.

    Reply
  • katman
    8:27 AM 20/10/2015

    World Rugby seem to be a bunch of spineless cowards. "After watching the incident in slo-mo from several angles for several hours, we can confirm that the referee got it completely wrong in real time on the field." What kind of boss does this?

    Reply
  • katman
    8:23 AM 20/10/2015

    This try put Scotland into the QF and effectively knocked Japan out. And at 7 seconds Laidlaw knocks the ball on while trying to pick it up. No TMO referral. Try stands. Sayonara Japan. No whingeing about the ref from either Samoa or Japan though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxU_SjPegag

    Reply
  • reality
    8:16 AM 20/10/2015

    I kind of feel bad for Joubert here. He's been made the scapegoat by his employers. He made an incorrect call, yes, but he was refereeing that match because his employers decided that he would referee it. He's proven himself time and again to be, at best, flawed and unlucky to find himself in difficult situations, at worst, completely unreliable and incapable of handling his-pressure matches and decisions. He shouldn't have been there in the first place, and his employers are the ones responsible for that.

    Reply
  • guy
    6:42 AM 20/10/2015

    Very well put!

    Reply
  • katman
    6:23 AM 20/10/2015

    Accidental offside was what happened earlier, when a kick bounced forward off Nell and was then handled by a Scottish player. But in this case, the first Scottish player didn't accidentally handle the ball. So there was no reason to award an "accidental offside" scrum. If Joubert believed the ball had come from Scotsman to Scotsman (as he clearly did) then the only result is a penalty.

    Reply
  • breakaway
    12:51 AM 20/10/2015

    I agree with pretty much everything. Also, the majority of refs would've made the same call as Joubert did in real time. There seems to an underlying assumption in so many of the complaints, that a different referee would've definitely made a different call. Nonsense. Only by examining the slo-mo do any of us know for sure that the ball brushed Phipps' arm. The vast majority of even the best refs would have made the same call as Joubert and been in the same position you describe.

    Reply
  • ragnar
    11:44 PM 19/10/2015

    I did not agree with the yellow neither, and as the main ref Joubert is in right to disagree with the TMO. I wonder why no yellow was given for the charge on Stuart Hogg. As far as the penalty is concerned, I've seen ref ask the TMO to check for a "full play" just to clarify a situation. Not allowed to check for a knock-on, you are allowed to check for a full-play, even if there aren't any, and see that the ball is touched by a yellow fellow ! At least for a such important decision, in such a game (1/4 final of a rugby WC) 78th min, that would have been open minded...

    Reply
  • danknapp
    10:00 PM 19/10/2015

    A RWC investigation has also confirmed that the Pope is, in fact, Catholic. The location in which the bear may or may not shit has yet to be confirmed.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    8:56 PM 19/10/2015

    "On review of all available angles" - so basically, they're admitting they could only make a decision once they'd closely analysed all the evidence that by their own regulation the ref is not allowed to look at. I've said plenty about the Joubert's decision to run off the pitch - something I was remain disappointed to see - but I haven't yet mentioned anything about all the slomo replays shown around the stadium after he'd awarded the penalty. I rather suspect now that was why he ran off. He must have felt awful seeing those replays, and helpless - because at that point, he was unable to change the call. What a terrible position to have been put in. I'll say it once more, he's a very good ref overall, and I'm sure he's devastated by this turn of events. Just as a contrast, at cricket games they don't show big-screen replays of controversial decisions. Purely out of respect for the umpires and the job they have. Maybe they should be thinking about the same for rugby.

    Reply
  • weejockmcplop
    8:35 PM 19/10/2015

    Sorry Katman, don't understand the logic. What try that shouldn't have stood? They were cheated out of their semi final place by the wrong call, and we still have had no mention why the charge on Hogg wasn't penalised. There still needs to be an apology and a statement as to how we are going to stop this happening in the future. No hard feelings for the Wallabies they played some brilliant rugby scored some great tries and thoroughly deserve their semi.

    Reply
  • katman
    8:03 PM 19/10/2015

    So after getting into the QF thanks to a try that shouldn't have stood, they lose out on the semis thanks to a penalty that shouldn't have been awarded. Forgive me for not commiserating too much. Seems like karma of sorts.

    Reply


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'Penalty was the wrong call' says World Rugby review of Craig Joubert decision | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos