Ref 'wrecked' game

2011-10-15 17:09

Cardiff - Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said referee Alain Rolland "wrecked" Saturday's Rugby World Cup semi-final by sending off Wales captain Sam Warburton.

The Irish official dismissed the Cardiff Blues flank in the 19th minute for a 'tip tackle' on Vincent Clerc and France went on to win the clash 9-8 at Auckland's Eden Park, despite Wales scoring the only try of the match.

Jones, wearing a scarlet Wales rugby top, watched the action live at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, where 61,543 fans followed the game on a giant screen.

"It was the wrong decision, it did wreck the game," he said.

"I thought Sam was unlucky. I thought it was a penalty - it was a clumsy tackle and a yellow card - but not a red card. The game was destroyed from that point on.

"It's not easy being a referee but I thought Alain Rolland got that wrong.

"But referees are human, they are not perfect and on this occasion it was the wrong decision, it did wreck the game but despite that the boys refused to lie down."

He said Welsh supporters would be proud of the team's efforts in New Zealand, where they matched their best-ever World Cup showing, having reached the last four in 1987.

"Obviously we are disappointed to lose by just one point," Jones said.

"But I am very proud of the boys for their performance.

He described the atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium as "fantastic".

"I don't think there is any other country in the world where you would get 60 000 fans turn up to watch the game on a big screen," he said.

"They will be disappointed but they will also be proud of what the team has achieved.

He said Wales's run to the semi-finals would stand the squad in good stead for the next edition in England.

"You look at this team and you think most of this team are going to be in their prime in four years' time and they will target 2015 as a World Cup to win," he said.

"It's bitter at the moment but I know that the team will build for the future following this defeat and they will be better because of it.

"I think we will have won a lot of friends. People will be very supportive of the efforts of the Welsh team and they have put Wales on the map."


  • Ann - 2011-10-15 17:24

    So sorry, Wales! You were the better team on the day, for sure...

      Thomas - 2011-10-15 22:32

      THE TWO BIGGEST THREAT TO THE ABs "BOKS AND WALES" ARE ELIMINATED AND THE REFS GET THE HEADLINES!!!! SA ref in the Aussie/AB semi but who has Paddy O Stupid put on as his assistants!!! Get ready this circus isn't over yet!! TAINTED WORLD CUP///////////RIGGED???????????

      Jaba - 2011-10-16 07:00

      have too agree... the beta team lost... again in this World Cup. However - this time the "ref" had nothing to do with the loss - for that was 100% red - at this level of Rugby one should not do that. anyways... boring final with France there i guess - i would of loved to see Wales in the final!!

      Caleb - 2011-10-16 09:09

      God thomas, your posts are so stereotypical of the deluded comments i have read on here, you and all the other conspiracy twats really are pathetic. Thats why its so funny.

  • Brett - 2011-10-15 17:46

    We can debate this red card till the cows come home, but it was sad to see these young Welshmen work so hard and the French strolling to victory. BUT, as South Africa we better take note of this Welsh team, because 2015 is around the corner and we can't allow ourselves to play our same kindergarten political games if we are going to make a show in 2015. We will have to enter the next 4 years with a PLAN.

  • J.D. - 2011-10-15 17:47

    Go google "The all blacks at the breakdown" and see how this same Rolland allow McCaw and Franks to play all over the breakdown, illegal at the fringes and off the ball. Today he simply reinforced the fact that referees simply have to much power. It cannot be allowed that decisions made by individuals destroy the game like Rollnd did. Or "bend" the outcome of games like Lawrence did. This will be known as the Rigged world cup destryed by referees.

      Thomas - 2011-10-15 22:54

      JD I started the "RIGGED WORLD CUP" movement and see no reason to change my view!!!! I am so glad someone els sees what the ABs get away with at the breakdowns!! What Lawrence did last week was way beyond a ref having a bad day!!! All the experts from most nations agreed he didn't police the breakdown, but when John Smit brought it to his attention during the game he chose to carry on!! He didn't get to be an international ref by not knowing the rules, he was reffing to an agenda!!! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A WALES BOK FINAL!!!!!!!

      Pierre - 2011-10-16 02:43

      Its not just you, a lot of people are seeing it this way. Only SA got bad calls for quite a few years now. It is only moving from bad to really absurd with Lawrence’s 1/4 final. SA rugby administrators will have to do something to get the refereeing back to an equal state, even if that means threatening to walk out of the Tri-nations (probably now called Four-nations)

  • John - 2011-10-15 18:01

    SA and Wales should be in the semi final. Sadly both lost not on merit, but because of poor refs. When the best team of the day gets to go home, it takes away from both the spirit of the game and a true competition. But for once we lost with dignity and none of our politicians opened their mealy mouths... so we can walk tall. Proud of you Bokke!

      Alan - 2011-10-15 18:56

      I agree with you John. It should have been an SA and Wales final but not to be due to the unsatisfactory Logs and Pools system, and then due to the refs.

      joeballito - 2011-10-16 03:09

      John,what can the man in the street do to rectify this evil? Just hope arrogant I.R.B take note.On second thoughts....lets ALL send them mails and check their reaction....

  • wenwe - 2011-10-15 18:02

    Warburton tackled the frenchie out side the laws of the game ... even thou it was not malice, it could still have resulted in a broken neck. there is a reason that there are these laws ... and if you flirt with them ... then expect some harsh calls ...

  • Maarten - 2011-10-15 18:05

    Once again a Ref is the biggest single factor in a game. The RWC is a farce, REF's are becomming bigger than the game!!

      Brett - 2011-10-15 18:08

      Maarten did you read the other article on the Sport Home page? You can't even Tweet about a ref any more! They are now untouchable!

      Patrice - 2011-10-15 18:28

      Merci Monsieur Rolland, it is good to see how helpful you have been... of course, you are french but only half, the other half is irish and this b.....y welsh beat you last week! very good revenge! Seriously, i would have rather prefered that you didn't gave this red card, the game would have been more open, we (french) could play a better rugby but this superiority did paralyzed the french like against the Tonga when we were almost sure to be qualify! Each 2 games france play a good rugby, hope it will be against the black!

      Maarten - 2011-10-15 18:49

      @Brett, I saw that. But then what do you expect from Paddy o'Brian and his croneys. Time for us to start boycotting the IRB. Did you hear what they said when the AB's theatened to pull oit of the next world cup? Apparently nobody is irreplaceable. Well, let them host a WC without us and the AB's?

      Brett - 2011-10-15 19:06

      Maarten I think there is lot more "stuff" going on behind closed doors that we will never know of. I am smelling rats all over the place. We had a discussion last night about the whole IRB issue and I feel the only way to bring back credibility to the game is to get the big sponsors behind us. I am drafting a letter for some of the big guns..........and you know why they are going to listen? Because it is the supporters that buy their products or bank with them as in the case of Investec. We pay these dictators at the IRB their salaries and we have a voice, like we have proven with the petition about Lawrence, we should USE our voice and stop sitting back like a bunch of weaklings and just take what the IRB dished up.

      adrien.mcguire - 2011-10-15 22:07

      @ Brett, please post the linkto the article you are referring to. Thanks Bud

      Brett - 2011-10-15 23:07 it is Sir.

      Rod - 2011-10-16 09:40

      The sad thing here is that after this farce the Webb Ellis trophy is now tarnished along with rugby's image.

  • eblockwatch - 2011-10-15 18:06

    How can a Frenchman be a linesman

  • Jerhone - 2011-10-15 18:08

    this whole RWC is a farce,it's all been planned for the all blacks to win from the start, it's the only way they can win a world cup, they would rather face France than the Welsh

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-10-15 18:13

    Rolland, Lawrence, Kaplan, Barnes, Owens, Walsh, the list of crap referee's just get's longer and longer and continue to do so under the tenure of one Paddy O'Brien. The IRB seems oblivious to the poor levels of refereeing at this world cup and previous international & S15 matches. At the end of a match the fans should not be remembering who officiated yet this has been the overwhelming result of this years events. It is an absolute farce.

      Brett - 2011-10-15 18:20

      Where were the days when the players were the stars of the day? This was the most unpleasant World Cup I had to live through, and my experience isn't just about last weekend. The whole competition left a bad taste in my mouth when the Pools were announced.

      martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-10-15 18:47

      I agree Brett, The rugby has not been of the highest standard all round either, there have been flashes of brilliance but overall, it has been pretty one dimensional all round with referee's taking centre stage more often than not. Of course I am also aggrieved about the Boks bowing out but also believe that they were the masters of their own destruction by not converting possesion into points but in reality, the best teams will not compete in the finals. Wales have played tough uncompromising rugby and France have played rubbish. Ireland played well, the Wallabies have flattered to deceive, the AB's have had an easy run and even Samoa can feel hard done by. Perhaps the whole format needs an overhaul. Maybe the two most undeserving teams will compete the final (Aus v France) and hopefully they will play the best game of the tournament! Who knows?

  • Stuart - 2011-10-15 18:28

    Ironic, last weekend a ref through poor application advantaged a team. This weekend, a ref went overboard and caused the french to be level with Wales. My deduction? The stage has been designed and pre-determined, NZ will win against France in the final...a la 24 years ago!

  • Kevin - 2011-10-15 18:45

    you all talk such rubbish, tip tackling is a red card offence, finished and klaar! He tip tackled, ref had no choice but to red card him. Why he did it, is beyond me, but no one can complain at the decision.

      Maarten - 2011-10-15 18:54

      You are wrong. Tip tackle is NOT an automatic red card. Go read the rules. A yellow, yes. Even a penalty. But NOT an automatic red card. And yes, i agree the tackle should have been punished. But NOT with a red card, especially not even consulting the assistant referees! Roland screwed up!

      robbie.crouch - 2011-10-15 19:35

      Clear cut infringement. Supporters must stop blaming refs for teams poor performance.

      Maarten - 2011-10-15 20:24

      Mr. Crouch, if you can quote me the correct rule, you might convince me. But let us talk rules.... And when we state opinions, let us declare them as opinions. Not hold them as facts.

      Neville - 2011-10-15 21:44

      Yeah, that is why you hardly ever see a red card for it. Maybe it is maybe it isn't but it is hardly ever called that way. In the currie cup match Sharks vs Lions the guy got a yellow for a worse tip tackle than in the Wales game.

      jeffkind - 2011-10-15 21:59

      @ Maarten and Neville: Law 10.4 (j): Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground first is dangerous play. The IRB has issued instructions to match officials about the tip tackle and said that is to be "treated at the upper end of foul play scale (red card, and work down, not the reverse". It goes on to say: "Any player who puts a player in the air or caused a player to be put in the air has a responsibility to ensure that the player is brought to the ground safely."

      Maarten - 2011-10-16 07:39

      @jeffkind, well done. Not many can even quote the correct rule. Now, how many dangerous tackles so far this tournament, and how many cards? We all know what the only other red was for. Are you then telling me that this has been the only tip tackle so far this tournament? Would you like me to tell you about the others in the games that the self same Mr. Rouland reffereed? Why no reds then? Simple, Roland screwed up, the only other explenation is that he applied the rules selectively. You pick one.

      Neville - 2011-10-16 10:35

      @jeffkind-Putting the ball in under the hooker's feet is also in the rules, but never blown. In the case of the welsh game the offender did not even have hands on the player on the way down, so that negates the "driving" part of the rule. Point is there is far too much scope for refs to "interpret" ther rules and ruin the contest. I repeat, I see more yellows than reds for the offence.

  • Niki - 2011-10-15 18:48

    The French got a worse deal from the ref than the Welsh, but the Welsh failed to capitalise through poor goal-kicking. Yes, Wales was unlucky, but not through bad refereeing decisions.

      Julie - 2011-10-16 04:53

      Bit like the Boks really. 70% possession but they failed to get over the line. Ref would never have been a factor had teh Boks made the most of their possession. And lets face it, the Boks failed to beat the wallabies all this year. Time for the Boks to get a new coach, some young blood and rebuild a great team.

      Nzbro - 2011-10-16 06:50

      Niki agree with you 100%. The tip tackle attracted the correct punishment as per the law which did put wales at a disadvantage, however they did miss 2 penalties and 1 conversion opportunity that would have won them the match with 14 men. I was hoping that wales win that match but in accuracy at kicking lost it for them. The ref did his job without flaw.

  • Michael - 2011-10-15 19:27


  • David - 2011-10-15 19:36

    1 point win games. Travesty loose's seats IRB understand basic buisness practices referees must be held accountable.

  • David - 2011-10-15 19:37

    I wonder what would be the comment if any of the missed 11 points were scored?

  • Victor - 2011-10-15 20:41

    This new rugby rules is taboo. It's a softies game nowadays. Leave the guys to sort one another out again. It's suppose to be a physical game, not soccer. I'm a big France supporter, but sorry to say, Wales was robbed by the ref. They are the better team. And now sport is only about money and what the IRU can bank.

  • johan.peters3 - 2011-10-15 20:42

    RSA also went out with lots of doubts in millions of minds, the scoreboard however tell a different story, possibly time for technology to be introduced to help out the human factor having said this Wales did the world cup pride this year South African supporter

  • Johan - 2011-10-15 20:47

    Wellcome to the club!

  • Benmica - 2011-10-15 21:16

    I supported you, now it is France.... Bokke forever...

      Brett - 2011-10-15 21:39

      I wish I could say the same, but I just can't get myself to believe in the French, so it has for me, and I think for many other supporters become immaterial who wins now. But yes, if they get their act together, it would be great.

  • adrien.mcguire - 2011-10-15 22:00

    The IRB's email address is Flood their inbox with your opinions, maybe it will help to focus their attention on the issues.

  • Alan - 2011-10-15 22:18

    Paddy O'Brien is to blame for the public now firmly believing this world cup has been rigged to help the kiwis finally win a cup. Bryce Lawrence last week fixing the result was like the Ben Johnson incident to international athletics, since then athletics has been on the decline and everyone knows to make a 100m final you've gotta have used steriods so the event is clouded by doubt and the sport is dying or rather is dead. So to will the dodgy decisions by the men in the middle of this RWC all of which have benefitted new zealand become new zealands steriod to help them get accross the line. Paddy born in new zealand, became an irish policeman and latter new zealand ref, was crooked as a ref and even worse as head of irb refs. He has hand picked the most incompetant or just plain cheating refs he could, his 10 henchman have done all in their power to help the All Chokes secure their first RWC. Don't the irb realise, we are not like footy fans, rugby union fans understand the rules and can see the cheating - paddy has brought the sport into disrepute and all results from now on will be questions with - "well was that rigged." To the irb, please fire this crooked turd and all his henchman. We all know Craig Joubert favours new zealand sides in S15, otherwise like Mark Lawrance (imo the best ref in the world) he would be without a job. Fire Paddy and his Henchman!!!!!!!!!

      Julie - 2011-10-16 04:48

      Actually it will be the AB's 2nd RWC.....not first

  • Roland - 2011-10-15 22:38

    He picked him up. His hips were above his shoulders. He didn't 'put' him down. Red Card offence...end of story. I wanted Wales to win, as the French were weak, but the red card sanction was justified. It is the rules and as Springbok supporters (who have been on the wrong side of decisions) we would've appreciated the same action based on the rules.

      Brett - 2011-10-15 23:25

      Yes Roland, when reviewed in slow motion, that is unfortunately the only choice he had. Sam deserved this red card, as you say, end of story. But that aside, the Welsh could have made it if they had Rhys Priestland available to them. I am however very sad tonight for these players because their passion and the determination was so tangible and inspiring, I so badly wanted them to succeed.

  • colin.spadoni - 2011-10-15 23:18

    @Thomas You have no idea about the history between the ABs and the Wallabies period and stop screaming!

  • Skinfaxi - 2011-10-15 23:53

    To tip tackle a player in the 19th minute of a RWC semi is just plain foolishness. Does the benefit of making such a dangerous tackle outweigh the risk of a yellow card, red card or suspension? You can’t blame the referee for killing the game. Blame Sam Warburton. Added to that he’s the captain, he should be setting an example of good discipline. Yes he ruined a RWC semi. So do we have separate rules for semi’s and finals now. Dangerous play is acceptable when it ruins the desired outcome? Yes Sam Warburton might be the cleanest player in the game. But if Clerc had broken his neck from the tackle would the track record have made it better? We are so quick to say that a player shouldn’t be judged on his reputation when it comes to an isolated incident (Butch James, Bakkies Botha and James Small come to mind) yet we want it to factor in when it counts in his favour?

  • Skinfaxi - 2011-10-16 00:07

    In 2007 Morne Steyn was red carded for a tackle that wasn’t half as bad as the one we saw today. The only difference is that the commentators agreed with the decision instead of calling it an outrage and comments on the site suggested red cards were necessary to stamp spear tackles out of the game. It appears that people think the rules should vary depending on who is playing and when in the game the transgression occurs.

  • Simon - 2011-10-16 00:15

    The IRB should simplify the breakdown rules and find better quality refs..............

  • Spotty Ikeremm - 2011-10-16 01:27

    Never mind that Rugby is too complicated a sport- now they know how SA felt after last week's loss. All due to the ref.

  • Zyklon85 - 2011-10-16 01:52

    SA and WALES were by far the best teams in this world cup! you can tell from the first game they played together that passion and fight for this cup was in the air.. Even though i think SA was robbed by that C**T bryce, wales were just abit unlucky with the red card. France did show a great defence line but no doubt wales was the better and still is one of the better teams in this world cup. Im starting to think that the better your stats are on tv, the better the chance you are going to loose.

  • Donna - 2011-10-16 02:19

    ok...I'm welsh, here at home in Wales, trawling the net to find what other rugby loving nations feel about the game today. generally, i'm so pleased with the respect and support for our boys from yourselves! that decision has ruined what could have been a truly exciting end to the world cup. personally, i think they should just hand the cup to whoever wins tomorrow....but then again, watching france getting destroyed will be satisfying.

  • Julie - 2011-10-16 03:23

    Whinge whinge whinge. Always the refs fault. It was a red card tackle. Had that tackle been against the boks you'd have wanted 2 red cards. So many people with chips on their shoulders.

      Donna - 2011-10-16 12:29

      in this world cup there have been at least 3 more tackles considered worse than this that were awarded a penalty. no ref consistency. if, in previous matches, this rule was enforced so stringently, then the competition would have been vastly different to what it has become. so..AB's will win. what an anti climax to an exciting world cup.....

  • koosterlaak - 2011-10-16 05:12

    Regardless of how we feel in general about the poor refereeing the rules are quite clear: "The IRB has also said that in rugby union a spear tackle should be a straight red card. An IRB memorandum on dangerous tackles from 8 June 2009 states: "At a subsequent IRB High Performance Referee Seminar at Lensbury referees were advised that for these types of tackles they were to start at red card as a sanction and work backwards." Perhaps he could have worked backwards and decided on a yellow card but strictly speaking, he was not out of line

  • unratedexter - 2011-10-16 07:02

    should've been a wales vs south africa final

  • Justin - 2011-10-16 07:18

    Lets boycott the final!!! Imagine if tv viewing is halved worldwide for the final. The sponsors will lose out heavily, and the IRB will have to pay up.

  • janet.price1 - 2011-10-16 07:44

    Ive said it before and I will say it again - the IRB need to change the Red/Yellow card laws. After a red card gets issued, the player should be sent off for 10 minutes, after that there should be a forced substitution and the player that received the red card should be punished heavily at a hearing after the match.

  • Robert - 2011-10-16 08:09

    IRB refree does it again. Most of us, if not all, pay to enjoy a 15 man contest and instead often witness a one sided contest due to indiscrections and one one eyed referee. Such was the case SA v Eng at Twickenham when Eng were the best and SA played with 13 men in a no contest which cost us plenty in airfares, tickets and hotels. Thank goodness I never went to New Zealand to whatch SA lose to Aust with a referee which most have claimed anti SA for years. The world cup gives the impression of tacticts to promote a New Zealand win at all costs and also shows SA referees to be impartial and a cut above the rest. Too often have we seen matches at all levels been decided by a yellow card against the run of play --- note footballers are not sent off as it would cause a riot. Then perhaps its time to boycott rugby until some idiot awakes . Wales were robbed not only by the rules but the referee who could of given yellow. Instead millions were robbed of a fair contest but promoted an easier no contest final for France , with one wondering about match fixing. In SA case the best team was eliminated by referee decisions to secure a easier route for New Zeraland, I have seen better schoolboy referees. Questions should be asked. Rest my case

  • Stephan - 2011-10-16 08:43

    Based on what happened last weekend and also yesterday, I just can't help to believe that the IRB is extending a "helping hand" to the AB's to win the world cup. They, the AB's, are so desperate to win the world cup that they will do anything, and I mean anything, to win it. Considering who sits on the IRB panel(s), starting with Paddy (n)o' Brain and his dogmatic connections, you don't have to look much further than that... I've lost all confidance in the structure and organisation of World Cup tournaments. Maybe it is my subconscience about the Boks being "eliminated" (read "sold out"), but I believe the best team is not going to be crowned "world champs" next week. The AB/Wallaby semi starts in about 90 minutes from now and I can predict that the Aussies are going to loose. Sorry for all the Aussie supporters but that is how it is going to un fold. Today you, like the Boks last week and Wales yesterday, are merely going to be abused by the system for the AB's to ultimately "win" the world cup. Eishhhhhhh....

  • Wilbur - 2011-10-16 10:40

    Fair result would have been a yellow on the day, with a citing hearing thereafter. But to send Warbuton off for a non-malicious error was a mistake. Rolland's ego got in the way, and Wales suffered thereby. Still, Warbuton showed ill discipline in tipping the player in the tackle.

  • Leonard - 2011-10-16 10:59

    Whats the bet that should NZ make the final the referee will be Walsh jnr (the Australian New Zealander ) which will be Paddy's final piece in the arrangement of getting NZ the cup. And it will be fitting as Walsh has already been in trouble for suspicious activities with regards to rugby hence he's an "Australian".

  • Dudleygbu - 2011-10-16 11:38

    this world cup is so rigged, its not funny, watch us read 'match fixing' headlines in a few weeks....

  • Julie - 2011-10-16 11:38

    I am really confused about one thing. If Bryce Lawrence lost the game for the Boks, why does everyone hate the Aussies for it??? Isnt Bryce Lawrence a Kiwi???? Makes sense. He cost us the game so we support his country.............hummmmmmmmmmm...........

      henco.swart - 2011-10-16 12:34

      I also though that is strange... but we knew that NZ would have won that contest, if a fair ref was officiating... Personally I hope the French can have one of those matches that makes NZ look average. Or France score from a forward pass, and win the RWC... now that would be hillarious.

  • Sian - 2011-10-16 11:42

    As a passionate England fan who has just returned from following my team in NZ, it is not often that I would take the side of the Welsh, but as a rugby fan I felt that their team, their loyal fans, and the rugby world cup has been cheated out of a meaningful World Cup final. It is clear to anyone, expert or otherwise, that Sam Warburton, the Welsh captain and one of their best players, should not have been sent off yesterday in the 18th minute and the great sadness is that the technology is in place for referees to consult and check their decisions before the player walks. To ignore this technology in a world cup semi-final is completely ridiculous and smacks of arrogance with the referee relishing his centre stage role to the point where he has put himself above the occasion and the overall competition. Not only has he deprived the Welsh but he has also deprived the other finalist of the opportunity to play the most worthy opponent and therefore will always leave a question mark over the eventual champion's claim of being the best team at the tournament. That Wales came within a point with 14 men speaks volumes for their skill and passion - well done Wales, from a hugely patriotic England fan.

  • Abel - 2011-10-16 14:16

    That's Carwyn Jones, I wonder what would have been his comment if it was the other way around and somebody broke his neck. Let's be honest, it was a nasty tackle and Sam Warburton should not only have been sent off but he should also have been disciplined. People has been suspended for less and Warburton could feel lucky it was only a red card. Wales have nothing to cry about, the French were the better team.

  • Barry - 2011-10-16 20:56

    The offence was a red card offence. Simple as that. I was supporting Wales in the match. Cannot argue with the refs decision. Sam made a mistake. A big one. Lets hope all players take note !

  • pages:
  • 1