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Craig Joubert's refereeing blunder - What they said

The fall-out from Scotland's last-gasp defeat by Australia at Twickenham continues after World Rugby admitted referee Craig Joubert blundered by awarding the Wallabies a late penalty that they kicked to win the match. Here Press Association Sport compiles some strong views given on Monday.


We hold up our sport and praise it for the way referees conduct themselves and how players conduct themselves with referees. I have been a little saddened by some of the comments made towards the referee as that doesn't have a place in our game. I am not terribly impressed with some of the comments aimed at Craig Joubert. By rugby players, mostly former. Not just Scottish, a few others as well.


Craig's background is a lot more complex than people realise. His father Des was an outstanding referee and made a decision from a young age to take up refereeing full time. His dad made such an impact on so many schoolkids' lives and he was bit of a legend in the Kwazule-Natal area. He actually passed away from cancer and Craig had dedicated his refereeing career to the memory of his father. Craig is a quality individual and all the stuff around the decision has been blown out of all proportion. I'd feel really sad if any of this has got to him as a person given he has given so much to the game.


Some of these comments have been very excessive. I'm not pointing at anyone in particular, but I do think there have been some excessive comments. Mistakes are made on a rugby field and not just by officials. People should understand that. To be fair Craig Joubert has been at the top of our refereeing group for quite some time. He's a fine referee. It was quite a hostile crowd at Twickenham.


No one's congratulating Joubert for picking up the tiniest knock-on before we scored the try in the corner and going back to the TMO. Some decisions you'll get and some decisions you won't. Someone threw a bottle at him when he was leaving, didn't they? I'd be racing off too if I saw a bottle coming. I don't like the way that people are making something out of the way he ran off the field. You've got to assess the things for what they are and not the more romantic nature of what we're all thinking. He's just a person like everyone else.


We are talking about the values of rugby. Let's be careful we don't fall short of the values because the match officials team are under massive pressure in a World Cup quarter-final. They feel the pressure in the same way as players, coaches and administrators do. None of us are perfect by any means. We have got to respect that. It has never been a sport, even in the most professional of environments, where we have looked for scapegoats and I don't think that is something anybody wants to begin to do. Respect is one of the core values of the sport, respect for the people in the sport - whether you are playing against them, coaching them, being coached by them or whether your game is being refereed by them.

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