Rugby World Cup referees admit they have not been good enough
World Rugby releases statement following a number of controversial decisions in Japan
Reece Hodge was cited for a tackle on Peceli Yato after Australia’s win over Fiji. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty
Romain Poite shows Samoa centre Rey Lee-Lo yellow card during his side’s Pool A clash with Russia. Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty
World Rugby has issued an extraordinary statement that criticises the performance of referees at the World Cup after only eight games.
Yato subsequently failed a head injury assessment and Hodge has since been cited, with his hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
In the same game, Levani Botia was sin-binned for killing the ball even though Wallabies captain Michael Hooper had entered the ruck from the side during the build-up to the yellow card.
The breakdown has frequently been chaotic, creating plenty of debate, while there has been criticism from pundits over the inconsistent way the off-side line has been enforced.
Despite only being one round into Japan 2019, World Rugby has revealed that officials are disappointed by the quality of their work.
“Following the usual review of matches, the match officials team recognise that performances over the opening weekend were not consistently of the standards set by World Rugby and themselves,” the statement read.
“But World Rugby is confident of the highest standards of officiating moving forward.
“Elite match officials are required to make decisions in complex, high-pressure situations and there have been initial challenges with the use of technology and team communication, which have impacted decision-making.
“These are already being addressed by the team of 23 match officials to enhance consistency.
“Given this proactive approach, a strong team ethic and a superb support structure, World Rugby has every confidence in the team to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2019 delivers the highest levels of accurate, clear and consistent decision-making.”