Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is resigned to the fact that he could be fined or face other punishment for his strong criticism of the officiating in yesterday’s 29-28 loss to Wales in Cardiff.
Rennie blasted the officiating as “horrendous” on Stan Sport’s coverage and elaborated in his post-match press conference at Principality Stadium.
Wales centre Nick Tompkins scored a controversial try that was upheld by TMO Marius Jonker and referee Mike Adamson while Kurtley Beale was yellow carded for a deliberate knock down.
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Rennie was asked about the prospects of World Rugby punishing him for his comments in the wake of the Rassie Erasmus-Nic Berry drama.
“No doubt but how do I support our team? By biting my lip again and us getting apologies during the week? It doesn’t change the result,” Rennie said.
“I felt it was important that I spoke my mind. I’ve been a professional coach for over 20 years. I’ve never gone in the media and had a crack at a referee or the referee group. I felt I had to tonight.”
Australia No.8 Rob Valetini was also sent off for a head clash tackle on Wales lock Adam Beard although most observers felt that was an appropriate punishment.
Rennie’s biggest gripe was with the role of South African TMO Jonker and what he perceived as a lack of accountability within World Rugby.
“I reflect back on Marius’ decision to sin bin Allan Alaalatoa against Scotland,” Rennie explained.
“During the week we were told it was the wrong decision, it wasn’t a yellow card.
“They’re big moments. Getting an apology during the week is not good enough. If we’re going to have TMO there’s no excuse for not getting the decision right. And we saw another example of that tonight.
“Everyone’s accountable, or they should be. Certainly we are and we want to make sure the officials are also accountable. Marius’ decision a couple of weeks ago, decided the game yet he was appointed again. Is there any accountability around guys making errors that are deciding Test matches?”
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The measured Rennie is usually loathe to criticise referees but felt there was no other option but to unload.
“I’ve made a decision to voice our disappointment immediately after the game. It’s not emotional. It’s not overreacting. But I thought it’s important that we stated our feelings,” he added.
“I make a real point not to criticise referees. We send reports in and seek a bit of clarity around things. We did that after the Scotland game, got a lot of apologies during the week and again that was a two point ball game and the same TMO that made a massive decision in that game as well.
“I just think our boys deserve better than that. That’s the reason why I spoke up after the game, it’s not going to help us to get apologies during the week, the game’s gone.
“I don’t have an issue with the red card because that’s the way it’s beeing refereed nowadays. You’ve got to take that on the chin.
“I wasn’t happy with Kurtley’s yellow card. He’s making an effort to wrap two arms, it clips his hand on the way through, they find a yellow card for that.
“Yet Nick Tompkins slashes the ball down in open play and somehow they say it didn’t go forward when he’s facing forward.
“They get seven points out of it instead of getting a yellow card and us geting a penalty. There were lots of decisions today I’m not going to go into but I felt they had a massive bearing on the game.
“Our boys played with a lot of courage and a lot of heart tonight and we were almost good enough to win that. But I’m incredibly disappointed with the officiating.”