Earlier this week World Rugby essentially threw Craig Joubert under the bus for his controversial decision at the end of the game between Australia and Scotland. This prompted Michael Cheika, who side was the benefactor of the decision, to quickly leap to the defence of the beleaguered South African referee.
The head coach of New Zealand, Steve Hansen, has backed Craig Joubert at his press conference today ahead of his sides world cup semi-final game against South Africa on Saturday.
The problem for Hansen is not that referees make mistakes but rather that Joubert, or any other referee for that matter, are unable to refer any critical incident to the TMO. This is because the TMO can only be used in incidents that affect whether a potential try could have be scored if not for a penalty infringement, potential foul play or the grounding of a ball for a try.
I don’t think it’s Craig’s problem.
I think it is the system’s problem. You’ve got technology that sits there and everyone says ‘why didn’t he use it?' But he couldn’t use it.
That’s the problem. World Rugby has to fix that problem. If he could have used it we would have got a different decision. End of story.
The New Zealand coach also urged World Rugby to look at ways to make the game simpler to referee and that mistakes, either by a player or by a referee, are part and parcel and parcel of the game.