World Rugby has admitted there was a collective shortfall in refereeing standards across the opening weekend of the World Cup.
The level of officiating was widely criticised in the aftermath, especially as the governing body has stated in the build-up to the tournament that it would be clamping down to ensure that matches were consistently refereed to the highest standards.
That demand from referee boss Alain Rolland went unheeded and now World Rugby have issued a statement insisting they its officials will do better from here on in.
“Following the usual review of matches, the match officials team recognise that performances over the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2019 were not consistently of the standards set by World Rugby and themselves, but World Rugby is confident of the highest standards of officiating moving forward,” read a statement.
“Elite match officials are required to make decisions in complex, high-pressure situations and there have been initial challenges with the use of technology and team communication, which have impacted decision-making. These are already being addressed by the team of 23 match officials to enhance consistency.
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“Given this proactive approach, a strong team ethic and a superb support structure, World Rugby has every confidence in the team to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2019 delivers the highest levels of accurate, clear and consistent decision-making.”
Rolland, for instance, had warned that red and yellow cards would be brandished without hesitation for high tackles at the World Cup.
However, that was not the case and the controversy over the Reece Hodge collision with Peceli Yato was one incident that hugely undermined the hope this will be a well-refereed tournament.
Hodge escaped on-field punishment for his collision with the concussed Yato, but now faces a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday after being cited for the tackle.
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