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Craig Joubert Finally Reveals Why He Ran Away After Infamous Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final

Craig Joubert Finally Reveals Why He Ran Away After Infamous Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final
By Conor O'Leary

It was one of the most controversial moments of the Rugby World Cup. Australia played extremely badly and with a contentious decision in the quarter-final against Scotland. The Scots arguably should have won - and most point to a decision by world class referee Craig Joubert as to why they didn't.

Australia have a penalty in the last minute to thank for why they beat Scotland by a point. World Rugby actually came out to say that Joubert was wrong to award the penalty that won it. It angered the Scots. But not more than Joubert's decision to run down the tunnel on the final whistle.

That was back in October, but Joubert is only breaking his silence about it now. Maybe because he couldn't explain his decision according to the rules at the time. Joubert was this week announced on the panel of referees who will take charge of sevens games at the Olympics.

Joubert received so much abuse about his actions at the end of that game, from leading figures of the game like Matt Dawson and Gavin Hastings - and the South African says he was aware of how it was received. So why did he do it?

In my head was a desire to avoid any possible unseemly confrontation that would mar what had been a wonderful occasion.

I had it in my mind somewhere that there had been an incident between the official and the England coaches in their match against Australia and I just didn't want any of that to happen, not because I don't understand the emotions of the moment for players and coaches, their desire for answers to questions, but just because I did not want that to become another possible incident. That was my thinking, not for myself but for the situation.

In hindsight, would I have reconsidered that decision? Absolutely.

It seems unusual in this day and age that Joubert wasn't able to say this in the aftermath of the situation. Especially after he was thrown under the bus by World Rugby. He did reveal that the Scotland head coach Vern Cotter called him a few days later to apologise for the grief he was getting, and to say he understood Joubert's decision in real time. That Cotter understood that Scotland had to accept it and get on with things despite the storm surrounding the decision.

[New Zealand Herald]

See Also: World Rugby Heap Pressure On Referee Joubert After Scotland Controversy

See Also: Craig Joubert Is Being Roasted From All Sides For Australia's Last Minuted Penalty

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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