Sport Union Wallabies victory tainted
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Wallabies victory tainted

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The last-minute penalty that helped the Wallabies clinch a World Cup quarter final victory over Scotland should not have been given, a review committee has said.

South African referee Craig Joubert handed the Wallabies a late penalty in Monday’s (AEDT) game, which Bernard Foley converted to secure a nail-biting 35-34 Australian win.

On Tuesday (AEDT), a World Rugby referee committee admitted it was the incorrect call.

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The referee penalised Scotland’s Jon Welsh for playing the ball “following a knock-on by a team-mate, resulting in an offside,” read the committee’s statement.

“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.

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Craig Joubert during the Wallabies and Scotland quarter-final World Cup clash. Photo: Getty

“The appropriate decision, therefore, should have been a scrum to Australia for the original knock-on.”

Mr Joubert had been widely pilloried in the game’s aftermath for making the decision.

He could be seen sprinting straight from the field after blowing the final whistle.

The six member committee, headed by former Scotland flanker John Jeffrey, stressed no foul play had been involved, so Joubert could not refer the incident to the third match official and a television replay.

“Despite this experience, Craig has been and remains a world-class referee and an important member of our team,” World Rugby referees chief Joel Jutge said.

On Monday, Wallabies’ coach Michael Cheika said the referee sprinting from the field was not evidence that he knew he had made the wrong call.

“Someone threw a bottle at him, didn’t he? I don’t think that’s funny,” Cheika said on Monday.

“If I saw a bottle being thrown at me, I’d be getting off [the field] as well.

“I don’t like [what] people are making out of the way he ran off the field.

“You’ve got to assess things for what they are. He is just a human being like you and I are.”

—with AAP

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