Gavin Hastings blasts ref Joubert’s exit from pitch

South African referee Craig Joubert runs off the pitch after blowing the final whistle. Picture: AP

South African referee Craig Joubert runs off the pitch after blowing the final whistle. Picture: AP

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DISAPPOINTMENT quickly turned to anger in the aftermath of Scotland’s World Cup exit and several respected former internationals were damning in their condemnation of match referee Craig Joubert.

The South African official’s decision to award Australia a late penalty, which they kicked to win the quarter-final 35-34, was controversial enough. But when he ran down the tunnel at full-time to a chorus of boos, without appearing to shake hands with the players, he raised the hackles of fans and 
pundits.

Former Scotland captain Gavin Hastings was scathing. “That is the worst thing I have seen on a rugby field in a long time,” Hastings told BBC Radio 5 live. “He is not prepared to face up to the players. That is not the spirit of rugby. He should be sent home tomorrow and he should not be allowed to make an international rugby commitment again.”

Former Scotland winger Kenny Logan was also enraged. “Referees shouldn’t have a bad game when they’ve got a TMO,” he said. “It was never a penalty, it was a knock-on. At the end of the game, he ran down the tunnel like a scared rabbit. The performance from Scotland was different class. I’m absolutely devastated.”

Former England international Matt Dawson was also critical of Joubert’s sharp exit from the playing field. “It’s disrespectful to the game,” he said.

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