Blundering referee costs Wallabies at Twickenham

Jack Quigley Columnist

By Jack Quigley, Jack Quigley is a Roar Expert

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    While the 30-6 scoreline may look convincing, the Wallabies can feel very, very hard done by after an extraordinary afternoon at Twickenham.

    Credit to England for the win, though three tries in the final few minutes blew the scoreline out and it could have been a very different story had the Wallabies not (once again) been on the receiving end of some pretty awful officiating.

    Michael Cheika cops a lot of his for his theatrics in the coaches’ box during games, unfairly so in my opinion.

    Often labeled a ‘whinger’ or a ‘bad sport’, the reality is that he rides every tackle with his players and emotions run high – and television directors know it makes good TV.

    Last week Eddie Jones apologised for being caught on camera swearing after an England error against Argentina. There were no cameras in Jones’ face this week as the host broadcaster, Sky Sports instead focused all their energy on capturing every mastication from the Australian box. Coincidence? No chance.

    The cameras only ever show Cheika when the Wallabies are on the end of a dud refereeing decision because it serves to further the narrative that all he does is complain.


    (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

    He had plenty to complain about on Saturday night. The Wallabies were on the end of a royal screw-job in London which included incorrect and inconsistent officiating from a referee, Ben O’Keefe, who was far out of his depth.

    It was farcical that such an under-qualified referee should be given the biggest rugby match in the world for that weekend. The referee is supposed to facilitate the game and administer the laws, not decide who wins.

    O’Keefe’s inability to correctly and consistently apply the laws of the game went a long way towards ensuring the home side did not lose.

    The headline blunder was the non-awarding of Marika Koroibete’s try which would have leveled the scores with over 10 minutes to play, but there were a number of other controversial moments which went against Australia.

    Michael Hooper was the first Australian to have a try disallowed, with replays showing the flanker ahead of Tevita Kurindrani after the centre had grubbered the ball ahead before Koroibete scuffed an attempt to soccer it into the in-goal and Hooper dived on the loose ball to score.

    The ruling was correct in black and white, but the reality is that Hooper was run on-side by Koroibete two seconds after the ball was kicked.

    According to the law, an offside player must not advance – but when a player is running full tilt it’s impossible to stop dead on the spot, and by the time Hooper had even adjusted his stride to attempt to slow down he had already been played onside again.

    Hooper later fell victim to the referee’s warnings of repeated infringement, and was shown a yellow card for the 8th time in Test rugby.

    That one is hard to argue with – rightly or wrongly the Wallabies had been repeatedly penalised in the first half and when that happens, it’s fair enough for the referee to take further action.

    What frustrated the Wallabies was that in the second half Ben O’Keefe warned England captain Owen Farrell after a string of penalties that any more in their half would be deserving of a yellow card – only to renege on that threat two minutes later when Chris Robshaw was penalised for not rolling away with the Wallabies on the attack in England territory.

    That wasn’t the only inconsistency with regards to yellow cards – Kurtley Beale was binned for a deliberate knock-down on the half-way line just before halftime.

    The call seemed harsh given the location of the supposed infringement, which lead to Beale laughing incredulously at O’Keefe as he produced the card.

    A penny for Cheika’s thoughts when early in the second half England’s Maro Itoje was penalised for deliberately knocking the ball down. On the half way line. But unlike Beale, was not shown a card.

    Hooper Beale

    (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

    Then came the kicker – the Koroibete no-try. After some terrific attacking play from the Wallabies, Koroibete crashed over the line (after colliding with teamate Stephen Moore who did his best to get in the way).

    Unsure of whether the ball was grounded, O’Keefe sent the matter upstairs to the TMO. Incredibly, not only did the officials not manage to apply common sense and award the try, upon the clearly audible requests of the England players who were standing beside O’Keefe, the decision was made to penalise Australia for Moore obstructing Chris Robshaw as he attempted to tackle Koroibete.

    Robshaw would not have stopped Koribete, that’s just a fact. Far from aiding the Wallabies, Moore’s clumsy intervention actually prevented Koroibete from getting over the line faster and gave Robshaw a chance.

    The complete cock-up from the dynamic officiating team reached critical mass when they failed to check if Robshaw was actually even onside for the phase where he would supposedly have made the try-saving tackle – he wasn’t.

    He was still retreating from the previous phase and had come from an offside position. What a farce.

    As if to rub salt in the wounds of the Wallabies, England then scored a sensational try which will never be repeated in a million years of rugby.

    A clearing kick headed for the sideline seemed to defy the laws of physics and tip-toe along the sideline just long enough for England to get a foot to it and incredibly keep it in play before streaking away to score the clincher. Upon review, it appeared that the tip of the ball may have touched the chalk, but in reality it was not conclusive enough to overturn the decision – it just seemed to be in keeping with the theme of the game and the feeling of injustice that the Australians were suffering from.

    The Wallabies did plenty wrong against England. Ball security was terrible as Australia refused to adapt to the wet conditions and continued to try and play fast and loose. The lineout suffered in Adam Coleman’s absence. At one point England stole a throw without even having to lift a jumper.

    Reece Hodge became the latest Wallaby to kick the ball dead while trying to find touch from a penalty. The inconvenient truth is that the best teams in the world just don’t make those sorts of mistakes and that’s why the Wallabies are still that half step behind the All Blacks and England.

    For Michael Cheika and the Australian squad it’s on to Scotland who ran New Zealand close at Murrayfield for another tough test and if the coach should even sigh throughout, the cameras won’t miss it.

    Jack Quigley
    Jack Quigley

    A long time sports writer and podcaster, Jack has spent the majority of his media career covering football and rugby. He recently joined The Roar on the back of penning a viral Facebook rant aimed at the Wallabies which attracted 60,000 likes and more than 6,000 shares. You can follow him on Twitter @Jack_Quigley.

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    The Crowd Says (372)

    • November 19th 2017 @ 12:35pm
      Cheikmate said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

      Excellent appraisal of the clear and televised facts, Jack. Now, be prepared for all the self-entitled pseudonym Kiwi and disgruntled England fans to bombard you with all manner of tripe as to the contrary. That was disgusting, pre-ordained officiating. So biased, it’s not even debatable.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 1:09pm
        Rt said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

        Completely agree but complain and you’re a bad sport. Referee out of depth is an understatement but because the refs answer to no one incompetence is rewarded.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 1:32pm
        markie362 said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        What a bout tbe fwd pass before koro got near the line.and moore needs to learn its not nfl

      • November 19th 2017 @ 2:12pm
        GWSINGAPORE said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

        Poor referring yes, but too harsh a call to blame the loss on poor referring. Great teams overcome poor referreeing. What about Australia dropping balls, mis passing, and seeming to lack a coherent game plan in attack?

      • November 19th 2017 @ 2:13pm
        Frank said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

        This wallaby supporter disagrees. The better team always finds a way to win, despite the ref. You don’t lose a game by 24 points and claims it was the refs fault, that’s farcical. Wallabies did enough wrong to show they weren’t the better side. Eg: if you can take the points on offer you take them, particularly in a tight match. Not going for goal cost them 6 points. Rugby 101

        • Roar Rookie

          November 19th 2017 @ 3:10pm
          Paulo said | November 19th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

          This All Black supporter agrees with the article, more or less. I think some of those calls were ‘interesting’. I can see why the Moore obstruction call was made, but think common sense should have prevailed, or the offside line looked at, realistically he wasn’t going to get stopped. I thought at the time Hooper was run onside also.

          The final scoreline does suggest England kicked on in the last 10mins, Australia seemed to lose the wind out of their sails after the Koro try. Everything after that decision needs to be viewed through the lense of that decision. If another decision had been made, everything would have been different so I’m not saying it cost them the game, but it had an impact, and not a small one.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 10:23pm
          double agent said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

          Frank a 24 point loss is hard to argue but to say the better team always wins is a nonsense. It’s like saying the best horse always wins the race. Referees influence the outcomes of games from U/6 and up.

        • November 20th 2017 @ 8:19am
          Ozrugbynut said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

          Whilst i agree in principle, when top tier sides with little between them play it often comes down to the 1 per centers, an element of luck and officiating.

        • November 21st 2017 @ 6:09pm
          JB said | November 21st 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

          Honest appraisal hard to say it would have effected the result though, wallabies clearly pushed hard to score points and gave some up as a result, I’m really proud of our team no Folau Tui Dempsey or Coleman still believe they are on the right trajectory.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 2:34pm
        Ryan said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

        Cheikmate – Far from it, as an ABs fan, I hope you hold on to Cheika for as long as possible. Perseverance will hopefully eventually pay dividends for your mob 😉

      • November 19th 2017 @ 3:18pm
        Curl said | November 19th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

        Agree, a very good report. For the Wallabies, a tough day at the office. For the referees, the farce continues… When will rugby adopt an open and honest public assessment process, much like they have in league, which will benefit everyone in the game?

      • November 19th 2017 @ 6:19pm
        TC123 said | November 19th 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

        Who’s disgruntled?

      • November 19th 2017 @ 6:53pm
        EELBOY said | November 19th 2017 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

        What a load of hot crap! A 30-6 loss was all the ref’s fault?!….What colour is the sky in your world & how many moons does it have?

        • November 19th 2017 @ 10:35pm
          nogapoepal said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

          If it had been 23-6 with 20 to play and 30-6 at end that would be a fair question. Rugby has much to do with momentum. The scoreline after the disallowed Hooper try and return to the field of the two sin binned was a credit to the Wallabies who were dominating. A try incorrectly awarded to England followed and when the Wallabies were rewarded with a penalty against them when Koriobete scored a try there was less than 10 minutes to rectify the ref’s stuff-ups and haul in the 10 point lead and it is well known that often when a team is chasing the game tries get scored against them because the focus is on offence and defensive structures are neglected. 16-6 is as much a loss as is 30-6!

          • November 20th 2017 @ 10:22am
            EELBOY said | November 20th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            Firstly Hooper made no attempt to get back onside, all he did was put his hands up for about a second while continuing to move forward – no try.
            Secondly when the ball was ruled in for the first England try, the touchie was right on the spot. He had the best view of it & kept his flag down.
            Thirdly explain to me how Moore didn’t impede Robshaw getting a better shot on Koroibete.
            The blowout scoreline certainly wasn’t a true reflection of the match, but ‘we wuz robbed’ articles like this aren’t a true reflection either. England has a much better bench & were always going to finish stronger. The attempt to defend Cheika’s antics was laughable. He carried on like a jilted cheerleader (again). He keeps going with the same players & then wonders why his side keeps loosing.

            • November 21st 2017 @ 2:34pm
              Jeffrey said | November 21st 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

              The constant whinging about the Moore obstruction is what is annoying me the most. Everyone knows that the pass from Koribete to Foley a phase earlier was a metre forward so it should have been disallowed even before the obstruction call was made. Everyone has surely noticed this but are deliberately choosing to ignore it in order to console themselves by believing their team was hard done by. Emotion ultimately gets in the way of objectivity when your own team is involved.

      • Roar Guru

        November 20th 2017 @ 1:09am
        biltongbek said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:09am | ! Report

        I don’t think Jack has all his facts straight though.

        Hooper was in front of the kick, fact, he kept advancing fact. He should have taken himself out of the chase, he didn’t, throwing your hands in the air in cknowledgement is not enough.

        Moore by the letter of the law did commit obstruction, fact.

        That said, I thought all the luck went England’s way, it was a very competitive match and Aussie fans should not be too harsh on their team.

        • November 20th 2017 @ 6:13pm
          JimmyB said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

          They’re not being harsh on their team, they’re being harsh on the officials…and interviewers

        • November 21st 2017 @ 9:26am
          ajg said | November 21st 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          completely agree. technically correct calls does not equate to awful officiating. I wonder how he would feel if the shoe was on the other foot?

          At the end of the day, the aussies just didnt play well enough to deserve a win

      • November 21st 2017 @ 11:15am
        Marc said | November 21st 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        Mate that’s a bit harsh, think you will find most Kiwis are on the side of the Wallabies this one.

      • December 4th 2017 @ 12:13pm
        Davster said | December 4th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

        An article which contradicts itself by saying the decision was lawful but wrong. Also, that 4 international board officials, all qualified, have somehow robbed Australia in a 30-6 scoreline. Incredulous ! Officials should be under scrutiny but this is ridiculous . I agree the scoreline didn’t reflect the overall game but it happens frequently – often when sides don’t finish off their play . Oh … low and behold the following week “little Scotland” post a record scoring margin . Different officials …. same players, same coach . Go figure . After spending time in New Zealand, who I think expect to win by divine right, Australia are following suit . Consider Aus performance against NZ and the home whitewash loss against England last year . Yeah …. can’t be the quality of team , coach or the efforts of the opposition or luck of the bounce . Careful … or you’ll “all come a whinging Matilda “!!

    • November 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm
      rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

      Technically correct calls are now awefull refereeing.
      Nice loose usage of the word Fact as well.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 12:49pm
        Jerry said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

        So awful that the Aussie coach called the ref a ‘f___ing cheat’.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 1:10pm
          rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

          Yeah I don’t get that. What advantage would the neutral ref have from cheating. So that leads to the fact he thinks he cheated to benefit England, therefore corruption. Quite a big allegation.
          I thought the ref did well, a few calls were close but correct. The modern day ref bashing is pathetic. Never going two keep two sides happy in a 2 horse race.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 4:56pm
          poyns said | November 19th 2017 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

          No evidence that he was referring to the ref.

          • November 19th 2017 @ 6:51pm
            Jerry said | November 19th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

            Yeah…so who else was he referring to then? It was from the Hooper offside, remember – which English player could have done anything to earn such ire?

      • November 19th 2017 @ 1:13pm
        Rt said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        If players have to stop completely before being put on side then I’m fine with that but you have to apply it to every part of the game (like forwards taking a step forward after blocking for a clearing kick before being put on side).

        • November 19th 2017 @ 1:18pm
          rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

          Ridiculous comparison.
          Now be honest if that was an English jersey being in front of the kicker in a replay, how would you want it called.

          • November 19th 2017 @ 1:26pm
            Rt said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

            So the laws are only applied when you say they’re important? Um ok.

            • November 19th 2017 @ 1:33pm
              rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

              Thats the premise of the article champ. Do keep up.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 19th 2017 @ 3:15pm
                Paulo said | November 19th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                No, the premise seems to be that a lot of the influential decisions were either inconsistent (Beales yellow card), or made without assessing all the information and the interaction of several laws at once (Hooper being run onside, Robshaw being impeded while in an offside position).

              • November 19th 2017 @ 3:31pm
                rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                You cant run an advancing player onside.
                Robshaw was not offside and was obstructed.
                Beales card was correct. Otoje possibly could have been but different circumstances.
                Ref was not inconsistent.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 3:57pm
                Sporadicsmiles said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

                If you keep going forward you are still offside though. Otherwise the entire forward pack would be able to chase a kick so long as an onside player ran faster than them. Korobeiti should have just dived on the ball and the question never comes up.
                The Hooper yellow was more than fair, it was what 4 penalties 5m from their line in about 1 minute. Same goes for Beale, a clearly deliberate knock down that stopped a promising attack.
                In the end, the difference in this match is that australia butchered their chances to score, while england took theirs. Hiding behind the ref is not going to help change that.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 3:23pm
        puff said | November 19th 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

        Cheika’s Wallabies were far from consistent and squandered a number of quality opportunities during the match including poor discipline at critical moments. The English media love Cheika because of his frivolous post match comments and behavior in the box during a match. There is not one test that the Wallabies have lost this year or previous years where Cheika has not held the ref responsible. It is almost a standard joke. Okeefe is very cognizant of the rules and as a Wallaby supporter his match control was unfortunate but correct. You sound as if you are part of the negativity, not the fact the Pom’s were able to capitalize on concentration distractions.

    • November 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm
      ethan said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

      Can’t really agree with this at all. Some of those calls were very tight, but can understand why the refs made the calls they did. The only real blunder for mine was not putting Robshaw in the bin after he’d just given England a warning. Now sure, that’s a significant blunder that could have changed the course of the match, but all the rest is just a whinge. We’ve all been critical of Cheika’s post match blows ups – are we going to lower ourselves to the same standards? In the end they smashed us by 30 points, got to give them credit.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm
        ethan said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

        OK have just watched the highlights, and can see Robshaw is WAY offside for the Koroibete no try. In that case it should have been a yellow card and penalty try. Two significant blunders by the ref then. Imagine if scores were level and we were a man up with 10 to play. Still can’t agree with all the points in this article, but understand more where you’re coming from now.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 6:37pm
          Internal Fixation said | November 19th 2017 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

          This is the crux.

          The others are all 50/50 and the rub of the green with the home team. I have no problem with that.

          This call is worse than Scotland RWC 2015 by Joubert and he was flayed by the northern powers.

          • November 19th 2017 @ 7:39pm
            Taylorman said | November 19th 2017 @ 7:39pm | ! Report

            No its not, thats just being over dramatic. For one, that was a world cup knockout match. Secondly, it was the single deciding play of the game. In comparison this was a non event.

            A mid game decision in an end of year tour match that had no impact on the result.

            Some really do need a reality check.

            • November 19th 2017 @ 8:01pm
              ethan said | November 19th 2017 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

              A reality check for you Taylorman, referee’s decisions are not (or should not) be based on the size of the occasion. To say so is basically to undermine all tests except knockout WC matches.

              It was hardly ‘mid game’ either. It happened with 10 minutes only left on the clock. And it can hardly be said to have no impact on the result, as it cost 7 points that would have levelled the score.

              Moreso, no single decision is ever enough to ‘decide the game’. Not Jouberts in the WC, not O’Keefe’s on the weekend. Australia still had 10 minutes left to win that game and we got spanked instead, so I don’t blame O’Keefe for the loss. In the end England took their chances better than us. So I’m not here to jump too harshly on the referee, just disagree with your comment entirely.

              • November 19th 2017 @ 8:39pm
                Taylorman said | November 19th 2017 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

                ‘Worse’ can be measured by the importance of the fixture, because there are no ground rules for that. The Joubert decision was deemed incorrect by the sports governing body.
                This has neither of those attributes.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 6:16am
                Go the Wannbe's said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:16am | ! Report

                Wrong, Taylorman, it was not the world’s governing body but the World Rugby Council (or something like that) and the president is Scottish……go figure?

              • November 20th 2017 @ 8:25am
                Jerry said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report


                “The review was undertaken by the World Rugby match official selection committee comprising John Jeffrey (chairman), Lyndon Bray (Sanzar), Andrew Cole (Sanzar), Donal Courtney (EPCR), Clayton Thomas (Six Nations) and the World Rugby high performance match official manager Joël Jutge.”

                There’s no Scot in that bunch, but Andrew Cole is actually Australian. You were saying?

              • November 20th 2017 @ 10:12am
                puff said | November 20th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

                ethan, it is non-sportsman like to have two bites of the cherry, The Joubert decision placed OZ in the final mix and to be fair Scotland warranted better treatment. As a Wallaby supporter having OZ progress to the next match deservedly so or not was never an issue for me. Okeefe was technically correct and 50/50 calls can only benefit one of two teams. We can cry in our beer but the fact remains. The Wallabies were far from consistent and squandered a number of quality opportunities that should have transcended into points. Poor discipline at critical moments at this level means we have certain player concerns that need to be addressed. Further, we have a coach who continues making flippant, thoughtless remarks to the media. We may not look like clowns but remain a long way from the desired level of professionalism that the viewing rugby public expects.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 11:09pm
          Brando Connor said | November 19th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

          Robshaw would have been put onside by an Australian player running 5 metres with the ball after the ruck. He was attempting to move back to an onside position prior to that.

    • November 19th 2017 @ 12:39pm
      Chillidog said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

      Ok. Open letter time. Suck it up Cheika. Whatever Quade said, move on. Be the bigger man, show maturity and include him. Australia needs it. Demands it. Can’t understand why he isn’t at least on bench?!? Must have made one helluva ‘your mum’ joke. We CANNOT lose to the POMS again. Cant be having a 5/8 performance like that again. Was lacking. Has been all year. George looked world class in comparison. Kicking for touch? ? penalties and conversion??passing ?Sort it out. Pull your finger out. Stop blaming refs and get on with picking the right side without prejudice. You are close to getting it right. One inclusion goes a long way. Pick up the phone. Call it in. Should have done it in June. But not too late. Enough is enough. Make it right.

      • Roar Guru

        November 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm
        Mango Jack said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

        2 yellow cards was enough for one game, without Cooper adding a 3rd

        • November 19th 2017 @ 7:44pm
          Rebellion said | November 19th 2017 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

          Agreed Mango-Jack , Hooper should be banished forever for being the most yellow-carded openside of all time

          So your response would be “um..ohh.. but he’s a Tah…2014 premiership…uh…ohh”

          Meanwhile the world’s premier openside will be back in Australia next year and will not have a chance to wear the 7 jersey. That’s how bad this BS has become

          Oh, and forget about Cooper. Foley had another shocker so stop pointing the finger at the bloke who never gets a go

          • November 19th 2017 @ 10:28pm
            double agent said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

            Banish the most consistently best player in the team? Thank Christ you’re not the coach!!

        • November 20th 2017 @ 12:54pm
          Marto said | November 20th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

          Stick to AFL Mango Jock, you have no idea about RUGBY…

    • November 19th 2017 @ 12:39pm
      rock86 said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

      C’mon Jack.

      The rules are the rules, get over it. Hooper was offside and was still advancing, even if it was slower. He had ample time to make a decision to pull up even before the ball was toed through and it would have been a completely different decision, but he didn’t, so no try.

      As for the Moore interference, it was definitely a no try if Robshaw was on side, unfortunately I’ve only seen limited replays so I haven’t been able to have a better look.

      Beale’s was a yellow, no doubt about it.

      Unfortunate haven’t had a chance to watch a full replay, but consistency is what you want from a referee, and if as you said England were warned for repeated infringements and then not presented a yellow, that’s rubbish.

      • Columnist

        November 19th 2017 @ 1:07pm
        Jack Quigley said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

        Not saying Hooper try should have stood, correct call as you say – I was just trying to explain why the Wallabies may have felt hard done by on that one when you see players in front of their fly-half/full back shuffling forward waiting to be run onside after a kick dozens of times every game. That doesn’t make it right, of course, but last night just seemed like every ‘use your judgement’ moment went against Australia.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 1:14pm
          rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          Be honest, reverse the colour of the jerseys in each instance and then comment if you think the decisions would be correct or not.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 1:16pm
          Rt said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

          Yep. Agreed

        • November 19th 2017 @ 10:42pm
          Neil Back said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

          Jack. Your article is a shocker. It’s up there with the worst of one-eyed Australian commentary. It doesn’t even appear to have the ‘merit’ of being a clickbait effort such as we see from the usual suspects. It reads like you actually believe it. Your defence of Cheika and nonsense observations on Moores clear infringement are particularly indefensible. Shame on you.

          • November 20th 2017 @ 2:57am
            Ridzenieks said | November 20th 2017 @ 2:57am | ! Report

            Thank you, NB. Grownup comment.

        • November 20th 2017 @ 6:09am
          Homer Gain said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:09am | ! Report

          Mmm. Jonny May gets taken out mid-air by Foley and gets pinged for knock-on. Likely try scoring opportunity gets chalked off for a “knock-on” when it was clearly knocked back by the Aussies. First 20 mins of the game saw repeated one-eyed calls by O’Keefe in favour of Aussies, balanced by some incidents in favour of Eng later on. Reality is that it was a 50-50 game with Eng getting the rub of the game. Ref was poor throughout (and no better than the teams) but hardly favoured one side or the other. Beyond the Aussie whingeing the hard fact for England fans is that England really haven’t played well since the Aus tour of summer 16. Whilst I think Jones has made a difference in terms of England’s ability to wins games they really should, I’m not sure he’s made much difference in terms of improving the team.

          • November 20th 2017 @ 6:22pm
            JimmyB said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

            Bit harsh I think given the conditions and I’m not sure what decisions went England’s way in the sense that were wrong.
            I like the fact that England blew them away in the last 10 minutes, Eddie has placed a lot of emphasis on being fitter than the opposition and having great ‘finishers’, on both accounts he’s done well. His next work on is attack, but given the conditions I thought England played some intelligent rugby, although I think Itoje will be disappointed with himself that he butchered a try scoring opportunity but beyond that we were dudded three times, twice with Wallabies cynically infringing and once with the referee inexplicably calling them back for a knock on with a 3 on 1.

            • November 21st 2017 @ 7:03am
              Homer Gain said | November 21st 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

              Put this way, if the Daly try was good, the Cueto one in the 2007 RWC final was better (and we would have won the cup if it had been awarded). I wouldn’t have complained if Daly’s try had been disallowed, nor did I think the yellow for Beale was as cut and dried as some suggested (it plainly was a deliberate knock-on but I’m not sure we would have converted the try). On the other hand complaints about Hooper’s YC (“there was no warning” they bleat) was incontrovertible. Basically Geoff Parkes get’s it spot on.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 10:57pm
        Brando Connor said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:57pm | ! Report

        Not that it makes any difference to the refs call. But looking at the replay – it appears that Hooper might not have seen the kick because he was behind two English players. He continued to run with the play, then realized the ball had been kicked, put up his hand to acknowledge his offside and slowed at roughly the same time he was put onside.

    • November 19th 2017 @ 12:39pm
      BennO said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

      This is ridiculous. The crux of the argument here seems to be the wallabies were robbed because the rules were applied as they’re written.

      On the obstruction, it doesn’t matter what “would” have happened if Moore didn’t get in the way, what matters is the that he did get in the way. That’s obstruction every single day of the week and it doesn’t matter where on the field it occurred.

      On Hooper, it’s hard to stop at full tilt? That’s not the refs problem, the refs problem is that he started from an offside position and didn’t hold his ground. End of story.

      • Columnist

        November 19th 2017 @ 12:51pm
        Jack Quigley said | November 19th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

        But to apply the laws as directed by the IRB, things like obstruction only become applicable if there is a ‘material effect’ – i.e. a potential tackler being impeded. In this case, the only potential tackler was Robshaw, who was offside, so not really a legal participant in the play. If Robshaw is onside there, we have a discussion about whether this was accidental offside or obstruction, but with Robshaw coming from where he did I’m still staggered as to how that’s not a yellow card and penalty try. That’s just my take, remember!

        • November 19th 2017 @ 1:02pm
          Ruckin Oaf said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

          Can you point out where the laws say that it’s ok to obstruct players some of the time ??

        • November 19th 2017 @ 1:10pm
          Jerry said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

          Robshaw wasn’t offside (he attempted the tackle about 2m from his line, the ruck was just in front of the 5m line with the English offside line about 3m from the line). He was clearly impeded, his first contact is on Moore and he’s prevented from getting both arms or a shoulder on Koroibete. It was an obvious, and correct, call.

          • Roar Guru

            November 19th 2017 @ 1:13pm
            PeterK said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            yep agree

          • November 19th 2017 @ 1:21pm
            rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

            Exactly right Jerry

          • Columnist

            November 19th 2017 @ 1:23pm
            Jack Quigley said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

            He influences the play whilst still offside. Genia looks up and assesses his options and sees Robshaw in midfield and opts to go for the short ball which leads to Moore and Koroibete colliding. If Robshaw isn’t running back with AUS backline Genia could opt to go wide and score for sure, but had options cut down by a player in an offside position. It used to be called ‘lazy running’, tactically ‘retreating’ whilst also ensuring you get in the way to cut down the options of the attacking team.

            • Columnist

              November 19th 2017 @ 1:28pm
              Jack Quigley said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

              Interesting point about the offside line though, just watched it again – keep an eye on Farrell, still offside (retreating) when ball comes out, clearly makes contact with Koroibete just insid ethe 5m line even before Robshaw does. So he’s offside as well.

              • Roar Guru

                November 19th 2017 @ 3:57pm
                Fox Saker said | November 19th 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

                And the clear forward pass to Foley in set up just before the try Jack? England would rightly say justice done

                Absolute dead cert forward – how that was missed is beyond me – maybe players in front of the refs line of sight perhaps. I t looked bad in real time – it looks obvious slowed down.

                England could have equal right to complain about that being missed – justice done you might say

              • November 19th 2017 @ 8:32pm
                Cuw said | November 19th 2017 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

                @ Fox Saker

                i think the ref made a big mistake in not reviewing the whole sequence – from the pass from MK to Bf and onwards.

                had it been done we will not be talking about obstruction or offsides 🙂

                he shud have given a card to England for constant infringing – i think there were like 3 in a row over a little space in time.

                that would have been consistent with the Hooper card.

            • November 19th 2017 @ 1:36pm
              rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

              Now I’m confused, if Robshaw was wide then wouldn’t Koro be unmarked.
              You really are stretching to be the victum.

              • November 19th 2017 @ 10:31pm
                double agent said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

                Try watching it.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 6:29am
                rebel said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:29am | ! Report

                Sorry couldn’t find the alternative vision this article is based on. I can only go off the actual footage.

          • November 19th 2017 @ 1:27pm
            ethan said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

            Rubbish, Genia picks the ball up on the five metre line, and Robshaw is behind him when he picks it up! He’s a further 2 metres back – about 7 metres out. Sure, if Robshaw didn’t get involved in the play you could ignore him, but he’s the guy making the try saving tackle, from a position more than 2 metres off side!

            • November 19th 2017 @ 1:40pm
              rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

              Where was the tackle made Ethan. Doesn’t matter where Robshaw started at the ruck, just where he was when he made the tackle.

              • November 19th 2017 @ 2:16pm
                Rt said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

                Um no that is not right

              • November 19th 2017 @ 2:25pm
                rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                Well resident referree PeterK disagrees with you. So does the Law book.

              • November 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm
                ethan said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

                Well, you could argue that despite starting from an offside position, Robshaw ran past the ruck to make the tackle, and was therefore onside at the point of contact. But in that case, he has come from behind or to the side of Moore. In which case Moore was not obstructing.

              • November 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm
                rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                You could say that if you didn’t watch the footage.

              • November 19th 2017 @ 7:28pm
                Jcr said | November 19th 2017 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

                So are suggesting players can stand offside and just run in and tackle anyone with the ball at any time ? Sort of like that game Battleship.

              • November 20th 2017 @ 6:32am
                rebel said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:32am | ! Report

                Yed if you don’t get involved in the play untill you get onside.
                Happens all the time

              • November 19th 2017 @ 8:10pm
                ethan said | November 19th 2017 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

                Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the rule is that if you start from an offside position, you are not allowed to become involved in the play until you have run back to an onside position, which is behind the last feet of the ruck. This is why Robshaw was allowed to start from way offside, yet still make the tackle ‘legally’, because at the point of contact, he was back behind the ruck. The issue is however, that Robshaw didn’t come from infront of Koroibete to make the tackle. He came firstly from behind, then the side. Now unless you are playing someone off the ball, you can’t cause obstruction to someone coming from behind you. So Moore should never have been ruled to have obstructed Robshaw – because he came from behind.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 5:25pm
          Waz said | November 19th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

          Robshaw wasn’t offside. The ref specifically asked the TMO to check this and it was cleared. How are you even allowed to write stuff on this site??

          • November 19th 2017 @ 6:40pm
            Empt said | November 19th 2017 @ 6:40pm | ! Report


            @Waz – here are screenshots from the start of the Phase. There’s no way that Robshaw (number 6) is onside – he’s nearly in line with Moore…

            • November 19th 2017 @ 6:50pm
              rebel said | November 19th 2017 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

              You are correct he wasn’t onside in that photo. He was when the tackle was made though.
              It’s astonishing how many people don’t know the laws.

          • November 19th 2017 @ 10:45pm
            Josh said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

            I thought the ref asked the TMO to check the grounding then the possibility of offside, but after nagging from Farrell the ref instead asked the TMO to look at the obstruction, with no call made on grounding or offside.

      • November 19th 2017 @ 1:07pm
        Ed said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

        Unfortunately BennO, the tone of this article will be similar to what the mainstream reporters produce in their match reviews. The only analysis will be done by Paul Cully in the SMH. The rest will ignore England played the conditions better, the tactic of England kicking to the “hidden” Foley on the defensive wing and their bench was superior to our “finishers”.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 1:50pm
          Charles Plowdog said | November 19th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

          Note what Jones said: so Englad’s “Finishers’ were better than ours.

          • November 19th 2017 @ 10:33pm
            double agent said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:33pm | ! Report

            That’s definitely true Charles. That Wallaby bench always looked vastly inferior to England’s.

        • November 19th 2017 @ 2:55pm
          Lewis said | November 19th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

          Paul Cully seems to agree!

        • November 19th 2017 @ 10:23pm
          Grotto said | November 19th 2017 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

          That’s spot on – England played excellent wet weather rugby.
          Chiekas complaining feeds through the team and I worry their resilience in the face of adversity is lower as a result.

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