Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and former captain Phil Kearns have slammed the officiating at Ellis Park and questioned the overall standard of elite referees after Australia’s loss to the Boks.
The Wallabies slumped to a 35-17 defeat against the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The visitors spurned a couple of scoring opportunities and conceded a controversial yellow card when replacement prop Taniela Tupou was sent off for a late, no-arms clean out on Rynhardt Elstadt.
The TMO said he believed it was ‘clearly a shoulder charge to the chest’, while referee Paul Williams said on the field: ‘The guy is sitting there and he’s come running in with the shoulder. It’s clearly dangerous, it hit him in the chest after the whistle. Away you go.’
The Springboks scored 14 points in his absence.
But Cheika believes the yellow card should have been given to a Springbok player.
‘I make it as the wrong call,’ Cheika said after the game. ‘The other guy [Springbok player] should have been sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge.
‘The fourth official should have focused on the green guy who came in with a shoulder charge and then Taniela came in after that to get him, with his arms wrapped at the right height.
‘I’m not sure if big contact is a penalty these days but that’s the wrong decision,’ Cheika lamented.
The outspoken Kearns also lambasted the decision and the general standard of refereeing in the game.
‘I think it was a disgraceful decision,’ Kearns said.
‘That is a game changing moment and some of these guys are out of their depth.’
‘I think so many times we put referees that are out of their depth into these games. We’ve all talked privately about the World Cup referees and there are a whole bunch of guys that are totally out of their depth.’
“I’m not sure if just big contact is a penalty these days” – Michael Cheika on Taniela Tupou’s yellow card against the Springboks
Full Story: https://t.co/BRwpN9s8X3
— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) July 21, 2019
Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images