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.
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.