Cape Town - South African referee Craig Joubert has explained why controversially he ran off the Twickenham pitch following last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Australia and Scotland.
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 took the unprecedented step of confirming that Joubert had been wrong.
Now, some months later, Joubert has opened up about his decision, explaining exactly why he did what he did.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Joubert said: “In my head was a desire to avoid any possible unseemly confrontation that would mar what had been a wonderful occasion.”
On the question of whether, in hindsight, he would have reconsidered the decision, Joubert said: “Absolutely.”
Since the incident, Joubert has met with Scotland coach Vern Cotter and captain Greig Laidlaw and the matter has been put to bed.
He also refereed in this year’s Six Nations and is currently on Super Rugby duty where he will be an assistant referee in Saturday’s clash between the Blues and Sharks in Auckland.