Sunday Mar 18, 2018

Ugly scenes amidst referee shocker as Spain fail to qualify for the World Cup

Ugly scenes amidst referee shocker as Spain fail to qualify for the World Cup
68
Comments

Spain’s chances of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup have taken a huge blow after losing to Belgium, but the result was overshadowed by Spanish players confronting the referee after the final whistle.

Spain needed a win to qualify for rugby’s biggest competition, but they failed to get that after losing the match 18-10, which means that Romania qualify instead.

Controversially, the match was refereed by Romanian Vlad Iordachescu, and it’s fair to say that his performance wasn’t of the highest quality. Reports suggest it was outright farcical. 

Players rushed to confront Iordachescu afterwards and some had to be held back by their opponents, with the referee having to be escorted off the pitch.

It raises questions about referee neutrality especially after World Rugby were forced to pull assistant referee Marius van der Westhuizen from England’s clash with Ireland on Saturday after he attended a training session with the home nation.

“When we were assigned Romanian officials, we were shocked. But this is rugby, the values are assumed,” Spain captain Jaime Nava told Radio Marca. “The dressing room is down, sunk. For sure, today rugby has lost.”

A win was all but guaranteed for Spain after Belgium had won just once in the Rugby Europe Championship, but this loss means that they must now play Portugal in a playoff.

The winner will face Samoa home and away, and the winner on aggregate will earn a place at the World Cup, in Pool A with Romania. The losing team will participate in the four-team Repechage in November, against Canada and two other teams.

The video below has been added in now, as it shows some of the 28 penalties against Spain.

68 Comments

  •  im1
    im1

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/44130763 well that's an interesting outcome....

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    Is that all of the complaints of ineligible players? No point in Rugby Europe doing a review of the Spain players actions after the whistle. Reading between the lines, the conclusion is that Rugby Europe is not fit for purpose.

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  •  im1
    im1

    http://www.rugbyeurope.eu/rugby-europe-communication-5-29032018

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Referees often have a natural bias against teams that are noisy towards them, players protesting etc. Look at Italy and Parisse, the more flustered and frustrated he gets, the more decisions go against him. I'm not going to review your comprehensive analysis and critique is because I can't be bothered, but maybe my point is valid?

    Reply
  •  kissmeimirish
    kissmeimirish

    http://www.rugbyeurope.eu/rugby-europe-communication-4-26032018

    Reply
  •  kissmeimirish
    kissmeimirish

    FER: Rugby Europe (RE) met Monday afternoon via teleconference with the members of the executive board, among them Pablo Feijo, president of the Spanish federation, who defended the oficial petition of repeating the Belgium-Spain game due to the lack of impartiality, objectivity and independence of the three romanian refs, with a clear conflict of interest as these had the same nationality as the team that benefited from the result of this game. After two and a half hours, RE has decided to postpone its decision until next thursday (29th). A new meeting will be held with the executive committee again, as most members have stated that they were still lacking information World Rugby, also have an imminent meeting due to study the case. http://www.ferugby.es/noticias2.php?titulo=Feij%F3o%20defiende%20la%20postura%20espa%F1ola%20ante%20Rugby%20Europe

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  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    The England front row alone will challenge that record.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    Spa 7 Bel 1 23.13 - side entry - correct. Spa 8 Bel 1 27.42 - high tackle - correct. Spa 8 Bel 2 27.42 - holding on - correct. 32.32 - missed pen for Spain here. The Belgian tackler has ended up on the wrong side and slowed the ball down. Should have been a pen advantage when Spain knock on immediately after. Spa 9 Bel 2 32.58 - Holding on - NOT correct. The Belgian player has his elbows on the ground. How can he be supporting his body weight? Its only the Spanish players holding him up at all 34.20 - How is that maul not pulled down by Belgium? Spa 10 Bel 2 35.23 - Scrum penalty - not going to comment on scrum penalties Spa 11 Bel 2 40.46 - Scrum penatly 2nd half 40.27 - Belgian player in from the side. He ends up in an ok position, but he initially engages the Spanish player from the side, who would have made a steal otherwise. Spa 11 Bel 3 41.30 - Correct penalty for off feet, but has he ended the advantage for an obstruction by the guy in the scrum cap in front of the winger? Thats just wrong. That was close to a try and the second time the he has denied Spain a very good try scoring opportunity. Spa 12 Bel 3 44.21 - Holding on - correct 44.25 - Missed pen for Spain. Belgian have been counter rucked and the Belgian 15 has played the ball more than once when pushing it back. Spa 13 Bel 3 44.55 - In from the side. Correct - but Spain should already have had the pen at 44.25 47.04-47.52 - This maul takes 48 seconds to move 10 meters forward, including two periods of going sideways. So at 47.10 its stopped (going forwards once). Again its stopped at 47.26. But the ref does not tell the Belgians to use it and gives them far more than the 5 seconds they are allowed. 48.00 - Missed penalty to Spain - Obstruction in midfield but the dummy runner who is now in the Spanish defence.

    Reply
  •  raduf
    raduf

    By the way, how many of those 18 penalties against Spain were wrong,and which ones exactly? Last time I checked, rugby was stil a ball game, not only statistics.

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  • I accuse them of overreacting, not something else. Read all my posts again, I think you missed some subtleties. I don't pretend to be impartial, I'm just more cautious with the statements.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    ah right, so you are Romanian. That speaks a lot. How can you have an impartial view on this/accuse others of not being impartial? I don't care if its Russia, Spain, Romania or any other team that qualifies for the world cup. But when there is an effective straight shoot out game to decide qualification and the strong favourite loses with some unusual referring decisions made by a referee (and assistants) from the country that benefits from that result, in competition run by an organisation headed up by an official from that country, who had the option to change the referees before the game to make sure that a situation like this wouldn't happen, happens then something does not smell right. If it looks like a dog, walks like a dog and barks like a dog, then it's a dog.

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  • your conclusions speaks a lot. Georgia doesn't need any favor from nobody; they were automatically qualified after finishing third in the group stages at the last RWC... as for Romania, rest assure we were ready for the repechage, with no further comments. Nobody would think Spain will choke at the end. They did it and it's their own fault, not the referee. Now, back to the basics.

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  •  im1
    im1

    so the whole competition if fixed to make sure Georgia and Romania go through and Russia do not? But when Spain beat Romania, Rugby Europe realised they needed a favour from Belgium?

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  • here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMwPawRXXjk&feature=youtu.be Let us all overreact, thus will surely make a better world (I'm being sarcastic)

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  •  felipeg
    felipeg

    Just read on L'Equipe: "Romanian Rugby Association statement: "Referee Vlad Iordachescu's appointment to Challenge Cup QF Pau-Stade Francaise was cancelled for security reasons. One of the teams is using Spanish national team players & also there is a geographical proximity to Spain""

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  •  im1
    im1

    I'm not Spanish.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    its from the video RD posted and then RD writes there were 28 pens in the post. I agree that 18-8 doesn't quite have the same whiff as 28-8. But its still very high. Consider how poor England were in the 6 nations this year in terms of giving away penalties, yet the most they gave away was 15 against France.

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  • just to be sure: by "bulshit" I mean "non-story, not really relevant in the context"

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  • Sorry, probably my english grammar let me down and I wasn't clear about it. The referee was a basque from France, refereeing an spanish team with... I don't know, how many french-actually players? [some people in some forums claims that the guy is born in Bayonne, like some of the spanish players and they are friends, bla bla bla]. This, from my point of view, it's bullshit. Much-much more bullshit that the romanian referee [he shouldn't be there!]. But, here you go, if you REALLY wanna make a story, you can make a story from every bullshit.

    Reply
  •  mitchinvalencia
    mitchinvalencia

    Fair call on Spain playing poorly. If they were good enough, they shouldnt have read their own press. Whether the ref was biased who knows what will come out in the wash. But your first point about the ref for Spain v Romania being spanish is incorrect. He was French. Maybe still Basque as you say, as there are regions of France that are Basque. See video for proof: https://youtu.be/w1WY_Opsr_A?t=3m44s

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  • 1. I was pointing to your side's of posing as an ultimate victim in this story. You're not. Russia had 2 tries refused in that match (a match with the same stake as yours with Belgium) and the basque ref from Spain (basically a second string France team)-Romania was a bit awkward in decisions too. Yes, this story is worst and I hope justice will be made in regard of refereeing and players conduct. But this lamentations are just too much. Let WR sort it and stop bitching 2. There's no official evidence or statement that the ref was biased. Iordachescu was, so far the best ref from REC countries, he also was responsible for your win against Belgium in Spain (30-0 if I recall correctly). It's not the rest of the world problem that your players couldn't keep their mental and made everything possible to confirm the self-prophecy (that the ref is against them). Watch all those comments or protest of the players since the beginning of the game. 3. For losing the game, you're the only one to blame; you played crap, Belgium were very good (considered your level); it's the same situation as with the lost game for Romania against Germany; they were the only ones responsible. Now, take it like a man. 4. defending the players conduct is beyond my understanding; there's no excuse. Looks like football and that's not the way. 5. justice will prevail; I understand the fans frustration but only to a limit. And from my opinion, you already crossed that line. Now, you may fool the people who don't watch regularly T2-REC with your presentation, but inside REC, you and me, both know the context of all this story better.

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  •  drg
    drg

    Thank you for clearing that up! 8 v 18 doesn't sound particularly David v Goliath... 18 penalties; as you say, is a lot but it's quite a feasible amount depending on what referees are more picky about. I watched the original video that was posted by a user above and I have to say at first glance the penalties seemed pretty alright, quite a few holdong ons, scrum penalties etc. I'm about to watch the second video posted by the same user above..

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  •  rdump0
    rdump0

    well, a good thing is always to make your own mind about something. In this case, to watch the entire game from a neutral perspective. Having done that (and counted the penalties, 18 not 28!), I can tell you that the ref was not more crooked than any other. Those who believe that after this game there is a good reasons for players to lynch the ref, should probably switch to a sport where your not allowed to use your hands...

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  •  rdump0
    rdump0

    28 might be a record. But the real count is 18. So it's not a record!

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  •  rdump0
    rdump0

    it is quite amazing how some rumours spread on the net. Someone has somewhere said that there were 28 penalties against spain. And this is now quite stupidly propagated by dozens of people all over the net. I just watched watched the game and counted every single one of them. The tally is 18 against 8. It is high, but not unusual at all. And having watched the entire game, and analysed them, there is absolutely nothing outrageous there. Maybe a mistake here and there but that's it. Like any other game,

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  •  im1
    im1

    watching the video, although its a clear try, its also very very clear that why the ref didn't award it. He is is a perfectly sensible position, the Russian player goes the opposite way and gets the ball on the line clearly, but only for a fraction of a second before it is shunted back. Its just unfortunate that there are not TMO's in the competition. To say that Spain should not even be in the position is missing the distinction between luck/mistakes and actual biased officiating.

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  •  im1
    im1

    Your final sentence would be relevant if it was one of Bevan, Joubert or Back throwing the stones, but its not.

    Reply
  •  lucky7even
    lucky7even

    Can't believe this has happened, three Romainian match official sent by the head of Rugby Europe (a Romainian) to officiate a game where the outcome directly affects the Romainian team's qualification. What a set up, Spain had no hope, they got whistled off the park.... I for one will be fully supporting Los Leones in their bid to reach RWC 2019, either by means of the play off's and repechage or by the much fairer (but more unlikely) route of a rematch with some officials that are on the level. World Rugby should give it's little brother (Rugby Europe), a beating for this. Vamos Los Leones...!

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  • Yep, Rugby Europe did appoint the ref and both touchjudges, all three are Romainian. The president of Rugby Europe is Romainian. Who stood to gain from Spain not qualifying? Yep, you guessed it, Romainia.... Spain even requested that the ref and touchjudges be changed two months before the game and it was turned down. Smacks of a set up to me. The Spanish players didn't cover themselves with glory but can you blame them? Qualifying for 2019 is a massive achievement for a team of amateur players who dedicated themselves and worked so hard to be in a position to qualify. If it was me I would have acted the same. That's the most blatantly unbiased officiating I think I've ever seen. 28 pen's Vs 8 pen's and a couple of missed probably yellow cards. Additionally Rugby Europe removed the game footage from their website a little too quickly.

    Reply
  •  denis1
    denis1

    A few thoughts: Bevan accepting a very expensive watch from the South African Rugby Union after a hugely controversial decision that eliminated France in 1995, Jouberts astonishingly bad performance in the 2011 World Cup Final and on the topic of player discipline, Neil Back shoulder charge in a ref after Leicester lost the Pilkington Cup Final. Glass houses and stones come to mind.

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  • Not a good day for rugby. Allow me some observations: - the video present SOME of the penalties, not all of them; I suspect are selected only the worst - as far as I know, the penalty count was 18/7; obviously, it's a big margin, but the referee's job is not to keep 'em low, but to enforce the law; it's not his fault that the players can handle the mental pressure - I'm not happy the way our spaniard friends are presenting the overall situation. It's not like they were the absolute victims. In fact, if you watch the video below, you'll realize that they shouldn't be in that position at all. So, it's a bit hypocritical all this lamentation. I'm not saying that what happened it's ok, because it's not! RE or WR has to sort it out. But lets be a bit more balanced, shall we? https://youtu.be/FJfZj-SMq4A

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  •  thedoctor
    thedoctor

    Remember they are professionals. They are being paid for this. I understand your argument if we were talking about amateur rugby like in my country. But a professional referee with TMO included... In addition, they didn't attacked him, lets say that they had a preatty heated argument. As I said before, anyone can make mistakes, even the referee but what we have here is a complete biased game, and that is an injustice that I will not tolerate.

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  •  felipeg
    felipeg

    Analysis of a scottish amateur ref: https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Actualites/Il-decortique-l-arbitrage-de-belgique-espagne/885900 Can't see the video but the journalist of L'Equipe says it's plain to see the ref did favor Belgium.

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  •  im1
    im1

    did the really 'attack' him though?

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  •  im1
    im1

    they chased round a ref, who if I had to put money on it, I would say was crooked. There was minimal physical contact that I can see. Its all fair saying that players should show restraint, and I'd argue they did, because if it was football the ref would probably have been knocked out. 28 vs 8 penalties just makes zero sense considering that Spain were heavy favourites. The fact they only lost by 8 points shows how much better as a team they are/were. This has to be such a massive statistical anomaly that there is zero doubt the ref was biased or crooked. If the burden of proof in this investigation by world rugby is set at the same level as it is for citings (which is balance of probablities) there is no way he cannot be found 'guilty' and banned (for life). So that fact that the Spanish players didn't lynch the ref is shows that they probably did show some restraint. And it should be noted it wasn't all the Spanish players going after him

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  •  moo
    moo

    (Joubert, I mean)

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  •  moo
    moo

    Is he actually any better in the sevens or is it just because we get less of him in one go?

    Reply
  •  felipeg
    felipeg

    Fair enough from the devil's advocate point of view. But then it was not only a romanian ref, but a romanian trio. Best way to prevent bias (or the mere suspicion of it) is to have different countries represented.

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  •  drg
    drg

    I covered referees instinctive bias against Pacific islanders...

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  • Regardless, go after a referee you should get banned. Let's not go down the futbol path.

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  •  im1
    im1

    Guess where the president of Rugby Europe if from....... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octavian_Morariu

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  •  im1
    im1

    As you say, you are playing Devil's Advocate. I'm sure you can see the difference between Nigel Owen's reffing the England Scotland game and a Romanian ref taking charge of the Belgium Spain game.

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  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    Terrible behaviour from the players. Watched the entire video. Lots of scrum penalties. They can go either way and the very best referees often get it wrong. Lots of 50/50 calls going Belgium's way. That could just be luck of the draw I guess. The only decisions that struck me as blatantly crap were the ones at 3.24 and 9.59. Though some I couldn't work out what was happening due to bad camera angles.

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  •  colombes
    colombes

    28 penalties is too much to chase a victory. This romanian ref chase was hispanic to watch. Rugby Europe should chase some "impartial" refs. Chase is not always a beautiful rugby term.

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  •  drg
    drg

    Some referees are just dreadful...

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  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    *cough* Joubert *cough*

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  •  drg
    drg

    I hate to sound like what someone might say an elitist or a xenophobe or whatever (I don't really hate it, but better appease the masses), but I sort of think when you have say Wayne Barnes, Nigel Owens, Poite et al, refereeing the 6 nations, their is an air of distinction about them, (regardless of good or bad decisions), you sort of feel they put their job, pride etc above their nationality, they have been doing that job for so many years, England, France, Wales and all other nations with their respective referees have all had their chances at top spots and will always strive to get their regardless, couple that with the obscene amount of cameras and angles and TMO's and pundits and commentators etc etc etc and it's no wonder that they rarely seen to hold any bias. I suppose they may all have their inbuilt bias, even if it's not towards their own nation, but against a particular nation, perhaps the Pacific islanders are judged on reputation more than actual events etc.. but the referees mentioned are so tried and tested. When you consider this referee, not that what I know really matters, but I have no idea who he is, I don't know if I've ever seen him referee anything professional professional, who knows whether he's so far down the pecking order that perhaps he's just that little bit less tested... However, as pointed out above, we're all doing a potential massive disservice to the guy (including those who kept him in position), his impartiality, however good or bad, will be questioned...

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  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    My good doctor, it doesn't matter if there are 100 penalties. You don't attack a referee. Never ever.

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  •  thedoctor
    thedoctor

    I mean, 28 penalties against one team and somebody's still wandering if the ref was crooked....It doesn't even matter if they played an awful game.... 28 penalties... That being said, I'm not justifying anyone here

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  •  mellizo
    mellizo

    Very, very sad thing, and a huge blow to the game in Spain. For once, live tv and thounsands of viewers were connected to the game all over the country, not only the few rugby fans, but the mainstream sport fan not used to the game. Parents were watching, after been told that rugby is different, better, good for for their kids, and they were reaching local clubs asking about how to get into the game... Even Marca, the biggest sport newspaper, devoted the front page to the victory over Rumania two weeks ago, something never seen before. And they got this, a match that even for the non involved was somehow unfair and a shameful attack on the referee after the game. The Spanish Rugby Union (F.E.R) sent a sort of apology after the game, and so did the captain, Nava, saying that they are sorry for what had happened, but stressing that RugbyEurope should and could have avoided the whole thing and they choose not to do so. Spain played an awful game, and the belgians hold their ground and did what they had to do, but.... Spain conceded less than 28 penalties in their last 5 games. The strong defense has been the key to the great spanish campaing in this qualification round, and they did so without breaking their discipline (see Russia and Rumania games) . Indiscipline was high in Brussels last sunday, but reaching 28 or so penalties in only one game where possesion was evenly seems wrong. But for me the worst happened during the second half, when the referee refused to stop the clock while the belgians players where having medical attention, time after time. In a game that evidently was going to be resolved by the smallest of margins, the ref managed to steal some 5 minutes to the game.

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  •  pgrugby
    pgrugby

    The referee didn't have the greatest of games and and because of the result it looks bad, but I don't think you can now go out and change the entire system because of one match.

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  •  pgrugby
    pgrugby

    I'm going to play Devil's Advocate, but if you use the theory that you shouldn't have referees from another country that would be influenced by the result of the match ... well then you can't have a referee from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France or Italy referee in the 6 nations. I mean Nigel Owels refereed the England Scotland game and at that time that was grossly unfair to England as they were still in with a chance for the Grand Slam (at that point still favourites) and obviously Nigel is a Welsh supporter and Scotland had already lost a game... Following the same logic, who on earth could you then get to referee a World Cup? Wait till you find out all the countries that have been eliminated and then get their referees? Obviously I was referring to the Rugby World Cup, but the same applies to the Soccer World Cup, or essentially all other types of championships and sports. These tournaments, qualifiers, etc... are a means to also give experience to the referees for those countries and let them develop. So the developing referees from Romania, Spain, Belgium will take charge of these tests as they slowly develop and move up the ladder. They need and have to be given the opportunity to referee these games. If you look at the Americas Rugby Championship that just happened, all the referees that were involved, bar 1, were from the countries that took part in the competition: http://rugbyreferee.net/2018/02/03/americas-rugby-championship-2018-referees/ I'll put it another way, where would the Romanian referees then develop and get test match experience if not at this qualifier? Fly them over to the Americas for their championship? It's certainly not going to be at the 6 nations. How often are the referees in these matches questioned for their impartiality? It's southern hemispheres refereeing the rugby championship matches all the times and we don't have these questions. Reading Oliver's article it doesn't sound like it was a biased/unfair referee.

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  •  drg
    drg

    Thanks is for the low down on the appointments! Seems totally backwards that there isn't; as you say, a clause.

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  •  moo
    moo

    Apologies to World Rugby about referee appointments - I stand suitably corrected by im1, below.

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  •  nhunter
    nhunter

    For rugby to compete against other sports in nations were rugby is developing, this is terrible and a self inflicted wound. Regardless of the ref or how the game was ref'd, to appoint 3 Romanian officials was pathetically stupid. Doubly so considering what was at stake, and who would benefit from a Spanish loss. There should be no excuse for attacking the ref post match, however, though I understand how the players were feeling. Spanish rugby should not let this lie.

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  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    I expect England will challenge that record soon.... Wahey!

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  •  im1
    im1

    28 penalties against one team...... is that a record?

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  •  im1
    im1

    World Rugby didn't appoint the refs. Appears its European Rugby who do that, and the refs are appointed by a neutral panel before the tournament. That all seems fair and legitimate. However, how the fck is there not some sort of regulation that says the tournament organisers reserve the right to change the referee prior to a game if they feel their is just reason for it. And if there is such a clause why wasn't it used? Its unfair on everyone to allow this to happen because there will always be the question of whether the ref was crooked hanging over the result. Its unfair on the ref because his impartiality will always be questioned from now on. Its unfair on the Spanish because... (well thats obvious) Its unfair on the Belgians because a great win for them is tainted Its unfair on the Romanians because their qualification for the World Cup will always be tainted In fairness to World Rugby, when the England team bought the assistant referee into camp last week (fully within the regulations) World Rugby decided this could be seen as a threat to impartiality, so stood down him down. That is exactly what European Rugby should have done. Unless, of course, there is something more sinister at work here.....

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  •  kissmeimirish
    kissmeimirish

    Was going to make one myself with explanations but stumbled onto this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clOx3DkheMk&feature=youtu.be The author has more credentials than I do and is neutral about the whole situation and. He has done a good analysis and gets to the point.

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  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    Bar the Belgians it's just a shit show from all parties involved really.

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  •  moo
    moo

    Just what rugby union needs in its developing nations... Reiterating the thoughts of most here, regardless of whether or not the allegations were baseless, quite why World Rugby thought it OK to have a Romanian referee & linesmen at that particular match, I have no idea. They were able to change out a far less controversial choice for Eng vs Ire on Saturday with less notice, after all. Poor all round (apart from the Belgians, who played pretty well by most accounts).

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  •  oliver
    oliver

    one more thing: that article on le rugbynistere is a full match report and the author saw the game in Brussels.

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  •  oliver
    oliver

    There's a long article about this game on french website lerugbynistere ( http://www.lerugbynistere.fr/videos/lespagne-dejoue-face-aux-belges-et-laisse-echapper-sa-qualification-directe-pour-la-coupe-du-monde-1803181903.php ) The general tone is more along the lines of Spain playing badly because of the pressure, rather than the ref being biased. However I must say it seems total nonsense and asking for trouble to appoint 3 Romanian refs!

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  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    Thanks for your thoughts and feedback. Really unfortunate situation all in all. We've added the video in the main post now.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm glad you've put a lot of writing in to support the video because some of those decisions were (as you say) just...and others were 50/50. They showed the spaniard dropping his shoulder into the head of his tackled opponent, that could easily be red card, but it was not sanctioned, and then that seatbelt tackle against the Spaniard was again a bit of nothing, it gets picked up in the pro pro games, but I'm not surprised some of these things get missed in these less televised sort of games (camera angles, big screens and perhaps TMO didn't seem available)... I can only imagine that IF the referee was not crooked then he made a few crap calls, the Spanish by all accounts were not aging well and probably let their frustrations out too much, the referee then probably got on their case for the chat sent his way. Sad day if he's crooked. Sad day if he's not and he was unjustly atracked by the Spanish players. Sad day that it came to that overall..

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  •  reality
    reality

    If it was as evident that he was crooked as is made out in the article and by people commenting then i don't see the problem. It's not like world rugby would ever, ever come out and say, "Yeah, sorry, he was crooked, and we were idiots to put him there in the first place, we'll have a replay of that match". They'd sweep it under the carpet. And this is after the Spanish players' dream has gone up in smoke, all thanks to one dishonest person. So the only bit of justice served is what the snake would get on the pitch from the players. Knowing that someone like that got off scot free is even more appalling, in my opinion. This is assuming he was crooked, of course.

    Reply
  •  kissmeimirish
    kissmeimirish

    Thank you, was about to send it to RD. Want to start by saying kudos to Belgium who put up a helluva fight and that Spain didn't have the greatest of games; overconfidence, nerves, cold, bad day for the kicker, etc Then on to the main theme of the article, maybe being biased towards Spain (where I have been brought up and played rugby my whole life) I believe that the ref was a complete farce, I would like to see what some neutrals think of it. In my opinion the second half was loaded with inconsistencies, especially at the breakdown, scrum and high tackles. Also with 5 left and 5 points down a penalty for not realeasing after a no tackle right in front of Spanish posts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3LwfEJU1ow&feature=youtu.be (again some calls are just) I do recomend the whole game if you can to get the whole idea of inconsistencies. As for the players reaction I understand the outrage as I have been through similar experiences (not at international level however) but I don't justify their actions of going after the ref. Lastly I would like to point out the importance that this would have meant for Spanish rugby, having been in darkness for so long it is finally going through some positive times, club rugby filling stadiums of over 20.000 people (copa del rey finals 2016 and 2017) A national team that is filling stadiums too as well as catching the eye of national media (bit hard in a world of football) Plenty of cameras were at the game to hopefully see a historic spanish win to earn a place in Japan but what they got was even more juicy, players "attacking" a ref, great headlines! Shunting spanish rugby back into darkness as a sport for brutes and cavemen for at least another four years after all the hardwork.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    Maybe the ref really was crooked. Still I won't be supporting Spanish rugby any time soon. I've never seen a national side act so disgracefully. Those Belgian players actually had to protect the ref from being physically assaulted.

    Reply

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Ugly scenes amidst referee shocker as Spain fail to qualify for the World Cup | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos