Scotland's captain Greig Laidlaw, left, points as SA referee Craig Joubert, right, runs off the pitch (AP)
Cape Town - A UK website has revealed why South African referee Craig Joubert rushed off the field following Australia’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Scotland at Twickenham last Sunday.
Joubert awarded Australia a controversial off-side penalty in the 79th minute which flyhalf Bernard Foley converted to give the Wallabies a narrow 35-34 win.
After blowing the final whistle, Joubert ran off the field without shaking hands with the players or waiting for his assistant referees.
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper joked that Joubert may have 'needed the bathroom', but according to the Daily Mail, Joubert told his employers that he ran off the field to avert the threat of a public confrontation with Scotland players incensed by his late penalty decision.
World Rugby took the unprecedented step of confirming that Joubert had been wrong. However, there was no explanation for the official's sharp exit.
Joubert was unable to refer the decision to the TMO because World Rugby protocol only allows it for a try-scoring situation or for suspected incidents of foul play.