Referee Controversy over Scotland, the northern hemisphere’s Last hope

  • By James Nadel


And the World Cup becomes the Four Nations

The northern hemisphere with their annual Six Nations Rugby Union tournament between; England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy are in an eternally keen rivalry, with the southern hemisphere’s Four Nations tournament between; New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and strong new comers Argentina.

This world cup was made special in that the quarter finals pitted four northern teams against the four southern nations.. a challenge the south won.. four wins to no reply. Many sports annalists calling this year the death of rugby in Europe.

And the World Cup becomes the Four Nations

And the World Cup becomes the Four Nations

Post Game Controversy

Referee Craig Joubet

Referee Craig Joubert

Referee Craig Joubert (Pictured above), ran from the pitch at full time without shaking any of the players hands, as is the normal custom in the game.

With Scotland in the lead and seconds to go, Joubert, 37, awarded a controversial penalty that handed the game to Australia, much to the crowd’s disapproval.

World Rugby chief executive, Brett Gosper “Maybe he was keen to get to the bathroom, who knows?”

Former Scotland Captain Gavin Hastings described the swift exit as: “The worst thing I have seen on a rugby field in a very long time”, 

Matt Dawson of England’s 2003 World Cup winning side, said it was “disrespectful to the game.”

Gosper however did venture a theory that the Twickenham’s “hostile crowd” may have been a decisive contributor to Joubert’s actions.

“I’m sure as a referee he sensed a bit of hostility, Craig Joubert is a superb referee and has been for a long time and he’s a good man. There will be reasons for what ever Craig did.” 

Australian and New Zealand Media had reportedly seen a bottle thrown from the crowd at Joubert as he left the pitch in a rather hasty fashion.

Joubert awarded the penalty for Scottish, Jon Welsh being deliberately offside, an accusation that replays are widely accepted as disproving, thus resulting in a scrum not a penalty. Whilst Joubert’s mistake has been slammed for not using the available television match official (a multi angle slow motion replay), the tournament’s regulations do discourage the use of such replays unless to verify foul play or the awarding of a try or kick. Arguably Jourbert was able to and should have used the replays in this instant, especially given that the call was a match decider.

Joubert’s refereeing performance for the match is now under full review, as is the common practice with all referees after World Cup games.


The Game

  • HALF TIME: Scotland 16 | Australia 15. Australia have never come come back to win after being behind at half time in a World Cup game. Scotland, the team normally fighting for last place with Italy in the Six Nations is the only remaining team from the Northern Hemisphere. Ahead at half time, looking dominant, strong and favorites to enter the final 4 of the World Cup! Scotland fever has gripped London here tonight!!!!! A classic under dog fairy tail.
  • Seconds in to the second half a yellow card and sin bin rock Scotland’s hopes and dreams as a man down Scotland battle on.
  • Scotland fail to call mark, and drop the pass. Australia punish with huge ground and possession gain.
  • 7 points for Australia, the man down really punishing Scotland. Scotland 16 | Australia 22
  • Australian try disallowed due to clear knock on.
  • Scotland and Australia with a kick each.
  • Scotland are back in the game with 20 minutes to go! Scottish try, missed conversion. Scotland  24 | Australia 25
  • Converted TRY – Australia, Australia take control! Scotland 24 | Australia 32
  • Penalty Kick Scotland! Scotland 27  | Australia 32. Scottish kicking game looking good.
  • Converted TRY!! Scotland! Scotland lead again. Scotland 34 | Australia 32. This is Scotland’s largest ever score against Australia and a very strong performance from the under dog, Scotland fighting hard for the northern hemisphere.
  • FIVE minutes to go: Scotland remain in the lead: Scotland 34 | Australia 32
  • 20 Seconds left!!!!! Scotland remain ahead!!! Scotland 34 | Australia 32!! what a turn out!! The atmosphere is on fire! The crowds are already celebrating a historic moment! Scotland the only team from the northern hemisphere ahead in the World Cup quarter finals against two time winners Australia. What a momentous day for rugby union. Many are calling Scotland Australia’s Japan in reference to Japan’s surprise early group stage victory over the mighty South Africa.
  • PENALTY!! Seconds left! A dubious penalty has been awarded against Scotland, the ref is claiming Jon Welsh was deliberately off side, and Twickenham disagrees!! The crowd is deafening!! The offside looked to be anything but deliberate. What a call!! No Television Match Official used!! Bewildering, no TMO is going to be used.
  • PENALTY SCORE!!!!! 5 seconds remain!!! Australia take the lead!!! Scotland’s heart breaks! Australia are through, Scotland out. What a way to end the game.
  • Australia kick to touch from their own try line. Australia 35 | Scotland 34