Why the referee at the bare minimum didn’t look at the pass from different angles to ensure that he made the correct decision after to the naked eye it appeared to have travelled anywhere from a half to a metre forward is a mystery, especially considering that his decision was more than likely going to be match-defining.
Most rugby experts around the world were unified in their bewilderment and disbelief that Peyper awarded the try given that the replays showed that the trajectory of the ball had travelled forward after being stripped in the lead up to the try.
A 14-man French team had tenaciously defended their tryline for close to 30 minutes in the second half after the French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina had justifiably been shown a red card for an elbow to the face of Welsh flanker Aaron Wainwright.
To make matters worse for the French fans and to add insult to injury after the match Peyper put himself in a compromising
situation and showed poor judgement when he posed for a photo with Welsh fans smiling and mimicking an elbow to the head.
To their credit, World Rugby stood down Peyper from the semi-finals for his inappropriate and insensitive actions with Welsh fans, but does that photo now bring into question the impartiality and integrity of the referee even though his actions were in jest?
It’s a shame that this match will go down in history clouded in controversy as it was a great match. Tt can only be hoped that lessons will be learnt and that the next time a crucial decision needs to be made that the referee dissects it with a fine-tooth comb and takes as long as he needs to get the decision right.
Fourth in the Six Nations Championship with a rather mediocre finish for 2019, any Les Bleus fan hoping that France could reproduce their results of 2010, when they won the grand slam, or of 2011, when they went all the way to the finals, would be disappointed.
An old European rivalry reignites at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as Wales tackle France in the quarter-finals. Here is The Roar’s ultimate guide to live streaming the quarter-final, or watching it on TV.