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'It's a disgrace... I don’t know what’s going on'

By Ian Cameron
Nathan Grey (Head Coach) with Brendan Whelan (Strength and Conditioning) and Shannon Fraser (Assistant Coach) during the Australia U20 training session at False Bay Rugby Club on June 27, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Junior Wallabies coach Nathan Grey expressed his frustration with numerous controversial decisions and calls during his side’s 30-10 loss to Ireland last week in South Africa.


World Rugby confirmed that Ireland should have had two players sent off due to high tackles, resulting in suspensions for Rory Telfer and James McNabney after the fact. Telfer initially received a yellow card for his tackle on Darby Lancaster, while McNabney’s tackle went unpunished.

Lancaster suffered a concussion from the hit and will be joined on the sidelines by vice-captain Ned Slack-Smith, who was allegedly “headbutted” by Ruadhan Quinn when the Irish flanker lowered his head late while carrying the ball.

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Additionally, the Junior Wallabies believe they were unfairly denied a certain try when Tim Ryan dived over in the third minute. However, the referee chose not to consult the TMO and ruled that Ryan had stepped out of bounds instead.

“It’s a disgrace. It shouldn’t happen,” Grey told the press this weekend. “I’ve got a squad of 30 guys led by Teddy (Wilson) who work their absolute arses off to put ourselves in position and then these things happen.

“The red cards should’ve happened and there should’ve been 45 minutes where we’re playing against 13 or 14 men.

“Ned gets knocked out by a guy carrying the ball who actively ducks into contact and literally headbutts him as he’s going into a very good tackle technique


“I don’t know what’s going on. We’ll just concentrate on what we can control and that’s how we prepare and play.

“It’s a real shame but these things happen in footy so we’re got to take stock of it. Certainly not happy about it but it’s done so now we have to move onto England.”

“It’s frustrating when some calls don’t go your way but we’ve got a clear plan for England moving forward,” Wilson said.

“We know with the team and squad we have at the moment we can definitely get the job done on them.


“That’s our pure focus is on what we can control and that’s on Tuesday against England.”


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Jon 379 days ago

If you ask me WR treat the whole tournament very poorly, regardless of the weather. Interest has surely got to demand more money is spent on it. Reluctance of using TMO's is a common result.

I must have seen they were using the new red referral system and just assumed they would also been incorporating 20 min reds? That's unfortunate.

Roy 380 days ago

Completely fair. It's been harsh on the Aussies. That's my view as a neutral.

Rob 380 days ago

In the case of the Ruadhan Quinn incident both players were equally at fault, you can’t call what he did a headbutt as if he should be punished when his opponent did the exact same thing.

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