Wallabies Boss Michael Cheika Launches Stinging Attack On Refereeing At The World Cup

“Embarrassing.”

Wallabies boss Michael Cheika launched a stinging attack on World Rugby and the standard of refereeing at the World Cup yesterday following Australia’s pool match defeat to Wales.

Cheika was not happy with the decision to penalise centre Samu Kerevi in the first-half for a fend on Wales’s Rhys Patchell. The TMO and referee Romain Poite judged that he made contact with Patchell’s throat, despite the initial contact landing on the chest before slipping up.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper challenged Poite on the day, stating they could not continue to “carry” if they were going to be penalised for such actions, blaming Wales’ tackle technique. Wales kicked three points from the resulting penalty and scored a converted try shortly after the restart.

“As a rugby player, a former player, I am embarrassed here,” Cheika told a post-match news conference on Sunday.

“I don’t understand anymore. They (referees) all seem spooked. Everyone seems worried about stuff so much.

“I don’t know why. The players aren’t worried. It affects everything else on the field too, decisions on all sorts of crazy stuff.

“Administrators are spooking the refs and refs are afraid of making decisions.

“It’s not inviting to the fans. Why should we have booing with these types of crowds? They aren’t booing the players either. It shouldn’t be happening.”

Cheika then took a sarcastic dig at World Rugby, comparing Patchell’s tackle to Reece Hodge’s challenge against Fiji that resulted in a three-week ban.

“It was pretty funny, because I thought I had seen it before, might have been Reece Hodge, I am not sure,” Cheika added with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

“When our player does it, we get suspended and then this time we get penalised. I am embarrassed about it.

“I don’t know every directive. Lots of them come out.

“I think he put his arm into his chest. I don’t know if that is illegal or not. I don’t know anymore. I don’t know the rules anymore, honestly.”