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Craig Joubert At The Centre Of Another Refereeing Controversy

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Greig Laidlaw of Scotland talks to referee Craig Joubert after he awarded Australia a late penalty during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between Australia and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on October 18, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The All Blacks won the final of the Sydney Sevens recently against Australia with a dramatic last ditch try, but their tournament win came with its fair share of controversy.

The controversy came in the form of the fact that New Zealand had eight players on the pitch during their win over Australia in the pool phase.

The other day World Rugby cleared New Zealand of cheating and the result of the match and the tournament stands.

They deemed the eight players on the field to be an accident and not intentional foul play. They also cleared the referee, though they added the referee should have managed the substitutions better.

That decision was heavily critisised by former World Cup final referee Jonathan Kaplan, who posted these comments on his Facebook page (via Sport24):

“What a load of rubbish ! No one is accountable ? A team scores the winning try with an extra player on the field and thereby distorts the whole ethos of sport ( a fair contest ) and it’s all one big mistake .. I can honestly say I don’t think deliberate cheating is remotely possible but when the winner of the tournament has been distorted , and perhaps the winner of the whole competition , you gotta ask how long the public will accept this ?”

He does have a point, of course. But the one thing nobody seems to have mentioned is the name of the referee, apart from the South African media, presumably in order to stop a public slamming of the referee in charge of the match and keep his hopes for an Olympic medal alive.

The referee has switched to sevens recently after controversy at the World Cup. His name is Craig Joubert.

Paul Peerdeman, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.