Craig Joubert's decision to award Australia a crucial penalty in the dying moments of their Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Scotland on Sunday has been one of the most controversial of the entire tournament.

Footage of the South African referee running off the pitch almost as soon as he had blown the final whistle has only served to compound the criticism he has faced.


While many have suggested that it was a cowardly move from Joubert - with former Scotland international Gavin Hastings saying the sight of him running away was "the worst thing I have seen on a rugby field in a very long time" - the chief of World Rugby appears to have thickened the plot: what if he just needed the loo?

Speaking to BBC 5Live on Monday, Brett Gosper explained:

Maybe he was keen to get to the bathroom, who knows?

I'm sure as a referee he sensed a bit of hostility. When you have a hostile 82,000 people, for whatever reason, who knows how that affects behaviour.

Scotland had been leading 34-32 with minutes to go in what would have been a historic victory until Joubert penalised replacement prop Jon Welsh for offside - when it appeared that the Australian scrum-half Nick Phipps touched the ball first and it should, therefore, have been a scrum. Bernard Foley converted the spot-kick, meaning the Australians advanced to the semi-finals by a single point.

Via Anna Barnes
Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)