World Rugby confirms mistakes made by officials in Japan defeat
Joe Schmidt: ‘we’ve now got the feedback that three of those were incorrect calls’
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during a press conference in Kobe on Tuesday. Photograph: Inpho
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has received confirmation from World Rugby that three penalties awarded to Japan during last Sunday’s historic 19-12 defeat to the host nation in Shizuoka were incorrect calls by Australian referee Angus Gardner and his match officials.
“We were penalised for offside four times and we’ve now got the feedback that three of those were incorrect calls,” said Schmidt from Ireland team base on Rokko Island. “People were asking us about our discipline.
“It’s pretty hard to keep getting off the line and onto the front foot when you are getting those calls. Two of them were from an AR [assistant referee Jerome Garces] who is going to be refereeing us on Thursday, so we know we’re going to have to be on our best behaviour.
“One thing I would say about this team is that they try to go out and deliver and, generally speaking, it’s unusual for us to have a higher penalty count than our opponents. So it’s frustrating that in the first two games, I thought Wayne [Barnes] did a super job.
“I know that, to a degree, they were happy with how Wayne went in the first game [against Scotland] as well. That’s our fault if we were on the wrong side of the penalty count there but I do think we’ve got to try to look after that as best we can.
“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t become passive in a game to an opposition that are playing in front of their home crowd. You’d have to be really impressed with the way that [Japan] got themselves back into the game.
“If it wasn’t us that lost the game, I’d say, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic for the tournament.’ Everywhere we’ve gone, the Japanese people have been incredibly excited about the game. They’re delighted with us, obviously, and I think loads of interest has been spiked by that.”