Michael Cheika says Craig Joubert was right to run off at Twickenham
Last Updated: 19/10/15 1:36pm
Australia coach Michael Cheika has defended Craig Joubert's decision to run off the pitch after his late penalty call against Scotland.
The referee made a quick exit after the final whistle at Twickenham, where the Scots in the crowd made plain their unhappiness at an offside decision that allowed Bernard Foley to kick the Aussies to a 35-34 win.
Sky Sports' Stuart Barnes has since claimed Joubert made "the error of his career" in calling deliberate offside against Jon Welsh, while the official's run down the tunnel has drawn criticism from Scotland great Gavin Hastings.
World Rugby are carrying out a review of Joubert's performance - as they do after each World Cup match - but in the meantime, Cheika says Joubert was right to escape a hostile crowd.
"Someone threw a bottle at him, didn't they?" Cheika said. "I'd be racing off, too, if someone threw a bottle. I don't think that's funny. I think I saw a bottle go on the field - what is that?
"Craig Joubert refereed a semi-final of Super Rugby when I was coaching at New South Wales. He sent off one of our players and gave a penalty try for a high tackle when the player was, like, 20cm off the ground.
If someone threw a bottle, I'd be racing off, too.
Michael Cheika defends Craig Joubert's hasty exit
"When I talked to him afterwards he backed it up, and he has a very methodical way he makes his decisions. As frustrated as I was, you've just got to wear that.
"I don't like the way there are people making something of the way he ran off the field. You've got to assess things for what they are and not the more romantic things, that extra bit... he's just a person like everybody else."
World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said: "The referee has not explained to me why he did that. Craig is one of our top referees, a good man and he will have had his reasons. We don't know what was in his head. We are in the process of working that through."