Samoa lose to Scotland because of crucial referee error
I wanted to title this article ‘A great Injustice against Samoan Rugby’. But then, people might have started accusing me of being Eliota-Fuimaono Sapolu, so I decided against it.
However, anyone who watched the Scotland v Samoa match over the weekend could have seen that the Samoans were robbed.
The final scoreline was 17-16, but there was a certain call that I, and the rest of Samoa, was unhappy with.
Around the 60th minute mark, a Scottish player was tackled into touch near the halfway line. However before he went out, he threw a loose pass back into play to basically no one, which was then pounced upon by Samoan winger Paul Perez. He burned past two defenders and had a clear run to the tryline!
But, as he was going to touch down the ball, with two samoan fans running over and giving him hugs, he turned to see that the flag of the assistant ref was up, back near the half way mark.
The ruling was that the Scottish player was out before he passed the ball back in.
That’s okay I guess, perhaps he was right, we could have missed that foot in touch by the Scottish player.
So as the game continued, Samoa ended up losing the match 17-16. Yes I was disappointed, but I thought we lost fair and square, and Scotland just had that extra edge near the end, so congrats to Scotland.
However last night during an interview with Samoan Coach Stephan Betham on TV1 Samoa, they brought up the disallowed try and showed a replay.
Wow, was all I had to say, when I watched the replay in slow motion. The AR really messed up with his call. The replay clearly showed the Scottish played throwing the ball back in before he was even close to the touch line, which means he was never out. Paul Perez had by all rights scored a try which was mistakenly disallowed. If it had been allowed, Samoa would have been up by 21–10.
This incident completely changed the outcome of the match, the turning point to speak.
For those who haven’t seen the vid, here it is. The quality is not that good, but clearly the player is not out before throwing the ball back in.
Stephen Betham stated on TV1 they talked to the referee in question and showed him the replay. The referee apologised for his mistake.
The Samoan rugby union have submitted a complaint to the IRB regarding this incident. So it’s up to the IRB what to do with it now.
In my own opinion, I hope they suspend the referee in question so as to set an example to other officials that they need to start making the correct calls.
There is no way the result will be overturned, but at least it will help prevent other gross mistakes being made in future matches.
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