Rugby: Williams slams performance of World Cup ref Joubert

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Former Scotland rugby coach Matt Williams has launched the most scathing attack on South African referee Craig Joubert’s performance in handling this week’s World Cup final which saw hosts New Zealand beat France 8-7.

Speaking on Irish television, Williams has accused Joubert of “abrogating responsibility” and lists a succession of infringements by the All Blacks that the official did not pick up on.

Williams, a straight talking Australian, concludes his assessment saying: “France deserved a shot to win it. He (Joubert) just didn’t want to be the person making the decision that New Zealand would lose the World Cup.” Williams also claimed: “The World Cup was decided on non-refereeing decisions. It has got to be fair for both sides.

“It is shameful at the World Cup. It’s so sad we have got to talk about this. It is not about beating New Zealand (but) France should have had opportunities to win that game from penalties ...and the referee did not have the same rules for both sides.”

During the interview Williams frequently highlighted footage of New Zealanders playing the ball off their feet illegally and contrasted decisions involving Tony Woodcock and one that saw French captain Thierry Dusatoir penalised.

But Williams insisted: “New Zealand were the best team. They deserved to win.”