Referee got World Cup penalty call wrong

South African referee Craig Joubert should not have awarded the last minute penalty that secured Australia victory over Scotland in their World Cup quarter-final, a review committee said on Monday.

The 37-year-old official has been lambasted in Britain for awarding the penalty that Bernard Foley converted to steal Australia’s come from behind 35-34 victory on Sunday.

Joubert ran straight from the field after blowing the final whistle.

The referee penalised Scotland’s Jon Welsh for playing the ball “following a knock-on by a team-mate, resulting in an offside,” read the committee’s statement.

“On review of all available angles, it is clear that after the knock-on, the ball was touched by Australia’s Nick Phipps and Law 11.3(c) states that a player can be put on-side by an opponent who intentionally plays the ball.

“The appropriate decision, therefore, should have been a scrum to Australia for the original knock-on.”

The six member committee – headed by former Scotland flanker John Jeffrey – stressed though that as no foul play had been involved, Joubert could not refer the incident to the third match official and a television replay.

World Rugby referees chief Joel Jutge said: “Despite this experience, Craig has been and remains a world-class referee and an important member of our team.”

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