Wallabies coach slams ref call after Bok defeat

Michael Cheika (Gallo Images)
Michael Cheika (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has hit out at the officials following his side's Rugby Championship loss to the Springboks at Ellis Park.

Cheika, in particular, slammed a decision from New Zealand referee Paul Williams to yellow card prop Taniela Tupou for a late, no-arms tackle, on Rynhard Elstadt early in the second half.

In Tupou's absence, the Springboks scored 14 points.

The TMO said he believed it was "clearly a shoulder charge to the chest" while Williams said on the field: "The guy is sitting there and he's come running in with the shoulder. It's clearly dangerous, it hit him in the chest after the whistle. Away you go."

But Cheika told Fox Sports "it was the wrong call".

"The other guy (Elstadt) should have been sent to the sin-bin for a shoulder charge.

"The fourth official (should have) focused on the green guy who came in with a shoulder charge and then Taniela came in after that to get him, with his arms wrapped at the right height.

"I'm not sure if big contact is a penalty these days but that’s the wrong decision."

Meanwhile, former Wallabies hooker Phil Kearns also criticised the decision.

The outspoken Kearns also lambasted the decision and the general standard of refereeing in the game.

"I think it was a disgraceful decision," commentator Kearns said.

"That is a game changing moment and some of these guys are out of their depth. I think so many times we put referees that are out of their depth into these games. We've all talked privately about the World Cup referees and there are a whole bunch of guys that are totally out of their depth."

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