Former Test referee Rob Debney believes that Wales should have been awarded a late penalty by Jerome Garces that might have given them a 19-16 lead in Sunday’s semi-final.
The Boks eventually won by that three-point margin to set up a rematch of the 2007 World Cup final against Eddie Jones’ England.
In his column for The Times, Debney was critical of Garces for ‘changing the way he refereed in the final 10 minutes’, which resulted in the Boks claiming the tense win and advancing to Saturday’s decider.
‘He penalised Wales with 10 minutes to go,’ wrote Debney. ‘They were on the 10m line and generating some good momentum and he incorrectly penalised Alun Wyn Jones for holding on.
‘Garces should have penalised South Africa as Franco Mostert did not move away and prevented Elliot Dee from clearing out Francois Louw. Wales should have had a kickable penalty that would have put them 19-16 up.’
Replacement loose forward Louw again proved his considerable worth with the defining turnover to relieve some pressure for his side. The turnover allowed the Boks to advance upfield and eventually take the lead via the boot of Handre Pollard.
‘Just a few minutes later, he penalised Wales either for coming in from the side at a maul or collapsing it, but he had been letting this sort of thing go all game, added Debney. ‘Why give it at that stage of the game?
‘He changed the way he refereed in the final 10 minutes and contributed to South Africa winning it, which is not what a referee should do.’
Photo: The Times