Craig Joubert unfairly treated by World Rugby, says Australia boss Michael Cheika
Last Updated: 21/10/15 11:50am
World Rugby's report into Craig Joubert's disputed penalty call has left the referee in an unfair position according to Australia coach Michael Cheika.
An official review concluded that Joubert was wrong to award Australia a last-minute penalty which Bernard Foley kicked to give his side a 35-34 win over Scotland in the World Cup quarter-finals.
The South African official has come under fire both for the on-field call and his sprint down the Twickenham tunnel without shaking hands with the players.
But Cheika has already said that quick exit was justified, and in the wake of the World Rugby statement the Wallabies boss has again come to Joubert's defence.
"I really feel for the referee," he said. "It's so unfair. No other referee has had his stuff put out there like that, and Craig Joubert's a very good referee.
"I would have liked my mates to back me up a little more on the odd occasion, if you know what I mean. I feel for him. We talk about having the right principles in the game, and all of that.
"Genuinely, I have never seen that before. I am not sure why that decision had to be publicly reviewed and put out there. I really hope his fellow referees stand by him because - well, the fact I'm not allowed to say much about it says it all."
Cheika also suggested criticism of the referee, whose role in rugby is famously sacrosanct, had gone way over the top.
He said: "People have taken the game off the field and got quite personal about it - supposedly big people in the game.
"I really do feel for him. I suppose we'll start accumulating a list [of mistakes] and sending a list of every match? That's what I think about that.
"I felt we should have had a couple of scrum penalties before. I don't know if they are reviewing those or if there is a document coming out from World Rugby on them. If there is then we'll make a list.
"I don't know if Samoa are making a list about the little knock-on before Scotland scored at the end [of their pool match], or how many more we are going to send in. If this is what's going to happen then every team will be making a list as long as their arm. And with reason to.
"It's not the way it has ever been done before, so I am not sure why it's being done like that now."