NZ Rugby World - - Jack Links -

Scot­land were on the verge of a fa­mous vic­tory. They led Aus­tralia by a point with 30 sec­onds left of the 2015 World Cup quar­ter-fi­nal.

They were all but safely in the last four with just one li­ne­out in their own ter­ri­tory to ne­go­ti­ate. They strangely threw to num­ber four, the ball wasn’t taken cleanly and bobbed about through var­i­ous sets of hands des­per­ately try­ing to clutch it.

One of those hands to touch it was Wal­laby half­back Nick Phipps, which meant that Scot­land’s prop Jon Welsh was okay to catch the ball as he did.

But South African ref­eree Craig Jou­bert ruled Welsh was o side, say­ing the ball had been played o one his team­mates.

It was cat­e­gor­i­cally the wrong call to give the Wal­la­bies a penalty which Bernard Fo­ley slot­ted to win the game.

The Scots were heart­bro­ken and an­gry, lead­ing to Jou­bert sprint­ing o the field to a ground echo­ing with boos and jeers.

A day later World Rugby clar­i­fied that the ref­eree had made a ter­ri­ble er­ror. “It is im­por­tant to clar­ify that, un­der the pro­to­cols, the ref­eree could not re­fer to the tele­vi­sion match o cial in this case and there­fore had to rely on what he saw in real time,” the state­ment said.

“In this case, Law 11.3[c] should have been ap­plied, putting Welsh on­side. The ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sion, there­fore, should have been a scrum to Aus­tralia for the orig­i­nal knock-on. De­spite this ex­pe­ri­ence, Craig has been and re­mains a world-class ref­eree and an im­por­tant mem­ber of our team.”

LATE ES­CAPE The Wal­la­bies know they were given a get-out-of-jail card by Craig Jou­bert.

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