World Rugby confirms officials made errors in Ireland's shock Rugby World Cup defeat to Japan

Ireland's Rhys Ruddock exchanges words with referee Angus Gardner
Ireland's Rhys Ruddock exchanges words with referee Angus Gardner
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World Rugby has confirmed that three penalties awarded to Japan during their shock Rugby World Cup win over Ireland last weekend were incorrect decisions made by referee Angus Gardner and his match officials.

Speaking from the team base on Rokko Island, head coach Joe Schmidt told the Irish Times: "We were penalised for offside four times and we’ve now got the feedback that three of those were incorrect calls.

"People were asking us about our discipline.

“It’s pretty hard to keep getting off the line and onto the front foot when you are getting those calls. Two of them were from an AR [assistant referee Jerome Garces] who is going to be refereeing us on Thursday, so we know we’re going to have to be on our best behaviour."

Schmidt, who watched his side steamroller Scotland in their Pool A opener, insisted it was "unusual" for the Irish to have a higher penalty count than their opponents.

"In the first two games, I thought Wayne [Barnes] did a super job," Schmidt continued. “I know that, to a degree, they were happy with how Wayne went in the first game [against Scotland] as well.

"That’s our fault if we were on the wrong side of the penalty count there but I do think we’ve got to try to look after that as best we can."

Admitting that he would have welcomed Japan's surprise victory if it had been against another team, Schmidt continued: "If it wasn’t us that lost the game, I’d say, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic for the tournament.’

"Everywhere we’ve gone, the Japanese people have been incredibly excited about the game. They’re delighted with us, obviously, and I think loads of interest has been spiked by that.

“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t become passive in a game to an opposition that are playing in front of their home crowd. You’d have to be really impressed with the way that [Japan] got themselves back into the game."

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