London - The Springboks “feel” for top South African referee Craig Joubert and several have sent him messages of support following the outcry over his decisions in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between Scotland and Australia.
Joubert awarded a controversial 78th minute penalty against the Scots in a kicking position that gave Australia the win, but has been savaged on social media and elsewhere by Northern Hemisphere fans and ex-players.
World Rugby added fuel to the fire when they released a statement saying that Joubert had indeed made an incorrect decision at the time.
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But according to Springbok winger Bryan Habana, the Boks know how it feels to be on the wrong side of a call after the horror show by Bryce Lawrence in 2011 but still feel for the South African referee, according to the supersport.com website.
Joubert has helped the Boks with law interpretations before the World Cup and on several occasions during the last four years.
“It is difficult because Craig has helped us out over the past few years and the circumstances on Saturday are some that we have no control over,” Habana said.
“The decisions he made have been brought under the microscope, but for me personally the standard of refereeing has generally been of a good standard.
“We feel for Craig but that is something we can’t comment on. It is a decision we didn’t make, we weren’t part of and we were there in 2011 and we know exactly how Scotland feel.
“As a team we can only focus on what goes in our camp, there might be one or two messages that were sent to Craig but all that matters to us is what happens this coming Saturday against the All Blacks.”
Joubert has kept his silence since leaving the field on Saturday night but was not awarded one of the semifinal spots for this weekend’s games.