Wallabies reveal World Rugby response to controversial Raynal call
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has lit the fuse ahead of this Saturday’s Rugby Championship finale in Auckland, saying World Rugby conceded a crunch time-wasting call in the opening Bledisloe Cup loss by referee Mathieu Raynal was wrong. In a now infamous decision, referee Raynal pinged Bernard Foley for timewasting in the dying stages of Australia’s 39-37 loss in Melbourne.
The decision devastated Wallabies fans, divided the sport and sparked a war of words between Rennie and All Blacks coach Ian Foster, who called it “very clear cut”.
Rennie said a ‘please explain’ issued to World Rugby after the Test produced a concession the Wallabies playmaker was harshly treated. “They agreed with our concerns,” Rennie said.
While Nic White gave voice to the Wallabies’ heartache at the time, telling Raynal, “Mate, that just cost us the Rugby Championship”, Rennie said it was on his players to now turn the page.
“We sought a bit of clarity. We have got that. It’s not going to help us win on the weekend,” he said. “We have decided to take it on the chin and move on.”
Rugby Australia had written to the sport’s global governing body earlier this week voicing its concerns about refereeing given the late and questionable time-wasting call with the match in the balance last Thursday. French referee Raynal penalised Foley for holding up the game as the Wallabies five-eighth shaped to kick the ball to touch with less than two minutes left.
Australi were left fuming at the decision, after which Jordie Barrett scored a try from a New Zealand scrum five metres in front of the posts to snatch victory. A Rugby Australia spokesperson on Monday confirmed to Reuters they had urged World Rugby to take seriously concerns about officiating in general. “We have been lobbying World Rugby for some time on this,” the spokesperson said.
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