‘Embarrassing’ and 'racist'! Rugby World Cup barbs fired
The refereeing at the Rugby World Cup continues to baffle players, coaches and spectators alike - particularly after a call to penalise Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi for raising his forearm against Wales' Rhys Patchell.
Even the Kiwis are seemingly on Australia's side in this particular instance, with Newshub rugby reporter Ross Karl leaping to Kerevi's defence.
Speaking on New Zealand's The AM Show, Karl compared the decision to penalise Kerevi to England's Piers Francis, who was only cited for a high shot on USA fullback Will Hooley.
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Some of the refereeing calls at the tournament have already been slammed as an "embarrassment" by the likes of former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns. Karl went a step further.
"In some cases, you feel that these decisions are a little bit racist," Karl said, according to Newshub.
"You look at Samu Kerevi and you look at the way some of the Polynesian players are treated in this tournament, in comparison to the way that Piers Francis got off his call - you do feel there's a lot of people getting hard done by here.
"The call on Samu Kerevi was an absolute shocker. If you can't carry a ball into a tackle without getting penalised for it, I don't know what's happening to this game.
"It's really messy."
SA Rugby Magazine made another comparison through its official Twitter page, showing a picture of New Zealand's Beauden Barrett fending off a tackle against the Springboks with a forearm to the face.
"Guess which one was a penalty?" SA Rugby Magazine captioned the picture alongside the incident involving Kerevi.
There is no suggestion from foxsports.com.au that refereeing decisions have been racist. World Rugby told foxsports.com.au that it strongly refutes Karl's claims, which it considers to be inappropriate.
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Outside of the controversy - and the loss - there were positives for the Wallabies to take from the match, according to former England international and rugby pundit, Stuart Barnes.
Barnes praised the Wallabies' set piece, saying they had both a superior scrum and lineout to Wales, which should give them confidence moving forward.
"Their set piece is as good as I can remember since the World Cup winning year of 1999, when John Eales ruled the lineout," Barnes wrote for The Times.
He added: "The back row combination of Michael Hooper and Pocock is yet to reach its destructive peak but there is time for Pocock to find his top form in the three weeks leading up to the quarter-final."
At half back, however, there is a different story. Bernard Foley was recalled to the role and turned in a sloppy display before he was dragged early in the second half. Furthermore, his replacement, Matt To'omua, helped change the game for the Wallabies.
"Time has run out on one of their most influential players in 2015, Bernard Foley," he wrote.
"... he is now a shadow of his former self ... his habit of playing his passing game around the back of his midfield makes absolutely no sense when Kerevi is such an uncomplicated and effective gainline runner.
"Matt To'omua is the answer. He ran straight, uncomplicated lines. He is no genius but he will service the Aussie back line far better than today's pivot."
Will Genia was recalled alongside Foley and also had a day to forget as he turned the ball over two minutes from the half to hand Wales what was, ultimately, an unassailable lead.
"The tried and tested combination (Genia and Foley) that yielded dividends in the previous World Cup cost their team with fundamental mistakes in what could have been their final outing together in green and gold," wrote Oliver Trenchard for The Guardian.