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Michael Hooper and Dave Rennie exasperated by ‘tough’ referee decision

Michael Hooper

Australia captain Michael Hooper and head coach Dave Rennie were both left feeling hard done by after a “tough” decision which resulted in a try being ruled out.

Hooper looked to have gone over for a try in the 36th minute, which would have levelled the scores between Australia and Scotland, but referee Roman Poite and TMO Marius Jonker deemed there was foul play in the build up to the try.

Allan Alaalatoa was shown a yellow card for what was deemed to be a swinging arm in the ruck before the try was scored, after his hand made very slight contact with the chin of Matt Fagerson.

Hooper was left in disbelief after the try was ruled out, saying to Poite, “You can’t be serious.” Poite responded that he was being serious, and that it wasn’t his action that led to the try being disallowed, to which Hooper responded “It is, because you’re the ref. Mate, I can’t believe that.”

‘I don’t want to have a crack at referees, but that was a tough decision.’

The decision, which resulted in one of two Australia tries that were ruled out, ended up being crucial to the final result, as Scotland claimed a narrow 15-13 win.

Rennie was speaking to reporters after the game and admitted that while he believes the decision was a harsh one, he acknowledged that his side should have been better.

“I don’t want to have a crack at referees, but that was a pretty tough decision I thought. It was a tough game because we just struggled to get things going. We got penalised quite a bit when we thought we had them under pressure,” Rennie said.

“We struggled to get our game going. There were a handful of decisions that we made and that the referee made that shaped the last 20 minutes. But we have to take it on the chin and make sure we are more accurate.”

Michael Hooper and Romain Poite bury the hatchet.

While the two didn’t exactly see eye to eye during the game, Hooper, ever the gentleman, presented Poite with a didgeridoo after the game to congratulate the Frenchman after he refereed an international match for the last time.

Poite, who acted as an assistant referee for the first time in an test match in 2007, told Hooper it was a privilege to officiate in games with him throughout his career.

While Poite’s time on the international stage has come to an end, Hooper and his team mates will be straight back into action when the Wallabies take on England this Saturday.

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