Samu kerevi was controversially penalised while in possession.
Samu kerevi was controversially penalised while in possession.

Furious Cheika ‘embarrassed’ by ref shambles

A furious Michael Cheika said he was embarrassed at what was happening to the game of rugby after the World Cup descended into total farce.

The Wallabies coach didn't hold back after two shocking calls cost Australia their chance of beating Wales in a Tokyo thriller that will be remembered more for the refereeing blunders than anything the players did on the field.

After clawing their way back into the game following a sloppy start, the Wallabies were left stunned when the hard-running Samu Kerevi was penalised for leading with his forearm when he collided with Welsh replacement Rhys Patchell.

"It was pretty funny because I thought I had seen that tackle before," Cheika growled.

"It could have been Reece Hodge, I am not sure.

"When our guy makes that tackle and has the high tackle framework in his head, he gets suspended. This guy doesn't think about the high tackle framework and we get penalised.

"As a rugby player, a former player, I am embarrassed here. As a rugby player I am embarrassed.

"I don't know every directive, there's a few of them.

"I think he may have said he lifted his arm into the chest, I don't know if that's illegal or not to be honest.

"I don't know anymore, I don't know the rules anymore."

Michael Cheika had some choice words about the refereeing standard.
Michael Cheika had some choice words about the refereeing standard.

The Wallabies are still livid that Hodge was banned for three matches when his trysaving tackle on Fiji's Peceli Yato in Australia's opening match was deemed an act of foul play when it was clearly accidental.

And Cheika's mood wasn't any brighter when some of the lights at the Tokyo Stadium blacked out in the final minutes when the Wallabies were on the attack and discovered England centre Piers Francis was let off after he was cited for a similar offence in a match against the United States.

"I heard the English guy got off a suspension," Cheika said.

"Maybe the lights going out at the end is a bit of a symbol."

The Wallaby coach pointed the finger directly at World Rugby officials whose clampdown on trying to rid the game of dangerous tackles had created so much confusion that no-one knew what they could and couldn't do any more - including the referees.

England’s Piers Francis escaped censure for a high tackle in the game against the USA.
England’s Piers Francis escaped censure for a high tackle in the game against the USA.

"You have got to care on the field, you have got to look after players, but not to the extreme where you are looking after the players just for the doctors and lawyers," he said.

"You've got to look after the players for the players.

"I don't understand any more. They (referees) all seem spooked. Everybody seems worried, they are all worried about stuff so much.

"I am not sure why they are worried, the players aren't worried. Then it's affecting everything else on the field."

The match took almost 15 minutes longer than normal to complete because of all the stoppages and on-field referrals to the Television Match Official but the one big call they missed was Gareth Davies scoring an intercept try from what looked to be clearly offside.

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper had a sequence of long conversations with the referee Romain Poite during the match but said he was none of the wiser about some of the baffling decisions he made.

"He (Patchell) used poor tackle technique and has fallen back. I don't know what Kerevi could have done. I spoke to the referee for the future to make sure that it doesn't happen again," Hooper said.

"It's a World Cup. There were some big calls, some went our way, some didn't. We've got to pick ourselves back up."

 

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Stream the Rugby World Cup 2019 on KAYO SPORTS. Every match Live & On-Demand on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Get your 14 day free trial >