‘Horrendous': Rennie slams officials as 14-man Wallabies fall to Wales

Forum » Rugby » ‘Horrendous': Rennie slams officials as 14-man Wallabies fall to Wales

Nov 23, 2021, 12:37

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie labelled the officiating in his side's last-gasp defeat to Wales ‘horrendous' and called for greater accountability in an extraordinary post-match spray.

Despite being down to 14 men for most of the game, the Wallabies led at the final siren but were beaten when Wales were awarded an 82nd-minute penalty and Rhys Priestland kick the winning goal. The 29-28 defeat ensured the Wallabies failed to win a match on a European spring tour for the first time in 45 years.

Rennie has not taken aim at officials at any point in his two years with the Wallabies but after his side's defeat - which included a contentious 15th-minute red card to Rob Valetini and a dubious yellow card to Kurtley Beale - the coach took aim at referee Mike Adamson and TMO Marius Jonker.

"I thought some of the decision-making by the officials tonight was horrendous, and played a big part in the result," Rennie said.

"I've been a professional coach for 20 years, and I've never gone in the media and had a crack at a referee or the referee group. But I felt I had to tonight."

The one-point defeat ensured the Wallabies finished the season on a three-match losing streak but Rennie couldn't have asked much more from his men.

They were forced to play with 13 men at one point in the first half, for 14 men for 65 minutes and led at the final siren, before Adamson found a penalty and Priestland slotted the match winner.

"We're incredibly proud of the effort. That was massive," Rennie said.

"We said we would empty the tank for each other, and when you're one short, two short, you have to do that. Heaps of character, and we got put under the blow torch.

"I thought the boys responded really well, so we're really proud of the guys. But I thought we deserved better."

The visitors fired out to a fantastic start when Andrew Kellaway put the finishing touch on the best passage of play Rennie's side conjured for the entirety of the tour but just over 13 minutes later, the match was turned on its head.

That's when Adamson pulled a red card from his pocket and gave Valetini his marching orders for a high tackle in which the back-rower made accidental, head on head contact with Wales lock Adam Beard.

Wallabies five-eighth Quade Cooper summed the decision up best.

"Speechless," Cooper wrote on Twitter.

Adamson opted for a yellow card in the 22nd minute, when the television match official intervened and ensured Beale was appropriately punished for a deliberate knockdown.

It was the Beale card which irked Rennie most, and left him calling for greater accountability for referees who make mistakes.

"I look back at Marius' decision, to sin bin Allan Alaalatoa against Scotland. During the week, we were told that was the wrong decision. It wasn't a yellow card. They're big moments. Getting an apology during the week isn't good enough," Rennie said.

"If we are going to have a TMO, there is no excuse for not getting the decision right, and we saw another example of that tonight.

"Everyone is accountable, or they should be. Certainly, we are. And we want to make sure the officials are also accountable. So, Marius' decision a couple of weeks ago decided a game, yet he was appointed again. Is there any accountability around guys making errors that are deciding Test matches?"

From the lineout which immediately followed Beale's penalty, Wales scored through Ryan Elias.

But Rennie's side responded. They dug in, and were arguably the better team, despite playing with the equivalent of a rugby league team for a 10-minute period.

Wales failed to capitalise on the significant numbers advantage, and only led 16-13 at the half-time break.

But Adamson ensured his influence was felt early in the second half, too, when Wales centre Nick Tompkins appeared to swat the ball down deliberately in identical fashion to Beale.

Every player on the field stopped, and waited for Adamson to award a Wallabies penalty.

The referee deemed that the ball had travelled backwards, allowed play to continue and Tompkins scored under the posts.

At that point, Wallabies fans had two choices. Laugh or cry.

Adamson then reduced the match to a 14-on-14 battle when Gareth Thomas was sent to the sin bin for a high, swinging arm clean out on Allan Alaalatoa which, if the same threshold was applied to the Valetini incident, probably could have been a red card, too.

With 20 minutes to play, the Wallabies trailed 23-13.

Back on even playing field, the Wallabies scored another sensational try.

Beale split the Welsh line, found Nic White in support, and the star halfback scored under the posts.

Despite all the questionable officiating, the Wallabies were in the contest. They trailed 23-20 with just over 18 minutes to play.

Filipo Daugunu then scored what might have been the best of three brilliant Wallabies tries.

Hunter Paisami charged straight through the heart of the Welsh defence but was brought down five out from the try line.

A superb passing exchange between Lachie Swinton, Rob Leota and Tom Wright put Daugunu in the left corner, and the winger produced an athletic finish in the left corner.

But James O'Connor's conversion attempt struck the post, leaving his side trailing by one point with seven minutes to play.

Will Skelton then made his presence known. The star lock played clearly his best match since returning to the Wallabies' fold, and he was the player who forced the penalty which gave Beale the chance to put his side in front.

It was a scene reminiscent of Beale's kick to win the match against the British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium in 2013.

The result was different this time around. Beale famously missed that kick.

From 45 metres out and directly in front, he nailed the penalty. With two minutes to play, the Wallabies were in front.

But Adamson would have the final say.

After Wales worked their way deep into the Wallabies' half with the final passage of play for the night, he awarded an offside penalty and Priestland knocked it over from close range.

Nov 23, 2021, 13:20

And then there is this from Swys...

Watch the 3 incidents and ask yourself how things like this are missed? Again, there are only two options...Incompetence or Cheating. 

Incident 1 - Linesman is about 5m away and looking directly at the situation. His focus is only there and nowhere else. Like Swys says, most of us at home picked up on this so how do both the touch judge and TMO, with multiple views, not intervene?

Incident 2 - There are more English players on the side of the maul than in front of it. Any number should have penalised here with the ref having a great angle from which to view. After this the linesman has one job...he is simply looking for offside on the try line. Indeed, him and the ref both have great views of multiple people being offside yet somehow don't see it despite it being exactly what they are looking at/for.

Incident 3 - Again, the touch judge is within 5m of multiple infringements at the maul. Again, all his attention is on the maul yet he manages to see nothing wrong. Even a casual fan of the game would spot this...yet a pro test ref doesn't spot it while having the best view in the house? 

Yes, there are many calls to be made within a single game. Yes, there's pressure. Yes yes yes.

But there are clearly moments where the supposed "high standards" and as Rooi puts it "best it's gonna get" is not at all what fans, players and coaches are seeing occur on the field. Moments where you can isolate the ref's performance and where they are simply looking at one situation, without distractions, and then failing to see very obvious infringements. 

Nov 23, 2021, 13:54

It’s just not acceptable that TMO’s are not picking up on these issues and what the hell were the touch judges doing not picking up on those obvious infringements

It’s simply not good enough and thank goodness Rassie had the balls to draw attention to this which has now been followed up by Rennie

No doubt the shocking non calls in the Bok v England game will also be brought to the attention of the powers that be

Pathetic WR wanted to make an example of Rassie when in fact they should be sorting out the shocking standard of officiating we are witnessing at the moment

Nov 23, 2021, 14:06

Look by know its very obvious something is seriously wrong with reffing. Crooks and cheats abound. The big problem is the IRB cover things up. 

Look a what happeed to Rassie. He gets punished for what exactly and berry who confesses to penalising the Boks unfairly every two minites gets off scot free and is painted as the victim.

Congrats to Rennie for speaking out. seems like the courage showed by Rassie could be contagious. Also looks like the ref debacle isn't going to go away.

Thanks Plum for the clip. shows h incompetent or even cheating officials denied the Bos a win. Boks were clearly the better side by some margin.

Personally I have zero time for bent oaks like mozzz, his org and any trying to defend the indefensible. Bit like the bent, lying media lying about Karl Rittenhouse. Its beneath contempt.

Nov 23, 2021, 14:18

What a devastating clip Plum. Wonder how the spin artist mozzz will react.:D

Nov 23, 2021, 16:51

Rittenhouse decided to go out on a public street, with loaded automatic gun like Rambo....shit is about to go down when you do that....just a stupid comparison! Let us see if rassies hoohaa has any positive affect on reffing....so far nothing! I said before that for as long as I can remember, there has always been ref issues...refs are not perfect and there will always be calls that go wrong. If a ref is bias and that can be proved, yes get rid of him....but let’s face it, the only reason why rassie & rennie is sour, because this time they both found themselves on the wrong end of the stick....sore losers if you ask me!

Nov 23, 2021, 17:24

The only call here that wasn’t split second was the first one, that was clearly a mistake. But what I love about these whiners is they never see any examples favoring the Boks.  Not once have they produced one.

That tells you one of two things. They are just biased and are only looking for incidents to help the Bok narrative ignoring the other side. Or two, and this is the more fascinating one….if you are looking for incidents favoring your team, you literally don’t see things going the other way.

I’m actually inclined to the latter view. Which is why sometimes one gets the sense a ref is blowing for one team only….or more interesting yet, blowing for one team for segments and then switching.

Perception when there are 600 decision points for a ref in a rugby match plays a big role. But I don’t believe for one second Berry or the chappie who blew Saturday’s test were blowing against the Boks.

I’m with the guy on the right in the interview, let’s not lawyer up the game….it’s already a long way from the continuous action rugby we all grew up with.

Nov 23, 2021, 17:36

I see poor mozzz says nothing about Plums great clip.

Keeps defending crooked refs. Lets just move on. Corruption is just fine is what mozzz is suggesting.  You teams getting robbed blind just shut up and accept nothing can or should be done about it.

Mampara power clearly doesn't know Rittenberg was acquitted on all counts.

He doesn't know anything much about those who attacked Rittenberg either.  It is now very clear the Marxist media lied about everything and have been found out!:D

Nov 23, 2021, 17:46

Rubbish all three takes are as obvious as can be

Nov 23, 2021, 17:49

18 to 8. 

Nov 23, 2021, 17:53

Yeah I know Donald Trump, but it still does not justify that 3 people died! A 17 year old should rather focus on getting laid instead of acting like rambo and killing people....do you see medics walking around with AR 15 semi automatic rifles while rendering fist aid? Get real man.

Nov 23, 2021, 18:25

We all know that Ref's are only human and make errors.

But they are assisted with A TMO, 2 Assistant's  and when in doubt call a time out and and review a call prior to spoiling a game at test level.

The Red card against Australia early in the first half did just that.

Some of the calls in these EOTY games really are questionable at best while others were wrong.

At this level of rugby with all the technology available and experienced ref's (?)  wrong calls are all to frequent.

Mpower what are you smoking fellow..........

Nov 23, 2021, 18:26

I commented before the game that I thought the penalty county would be 65% to 35% in favor of the Boks.

At one point it was closer to 80% to 20%...it ended on 18-8 in favor of the Boks.

All of which has nothing to do with the individual calls above.

Nov 23, 2021, 18:31

lol $affex...

If one were 5m from a decent size tv those would be hard to miss.

Nevermind being 5m from it in person.

Funny stuff

Nov 23, 2021, 18:56

“ Mpower what are you smoking fellow......”- Elaborate AJH

Nov 23, 2021, 19:00

Yep we dominated and pressurised England so much that all they could do was concede penalties

By all accounts it should have been 38-8 including a few penalty tries

Nov 23, 2021, 19:13

Some of you guys have got to get over yourselves with all this bleating about refs! You are quickly becoming a nation of whingers like the Poms and it’s not a good look believe me. Your press is now picking apart every move in a game looking for a wrong call but strangely not any where the Boks were favoured. The first clip showed the Pom snatching at the ball incorrectly but it all happened in a split second in basically the one movement so marginal that the ref could pick it up. As for the last one in the lineout, I can’t for the life of me see what that idiot Swys (is it?) was going on about and I replayed it several times! As for try line defence, there’s not a team playing that doesn’t encroach over the line when desperately defending their own line!! Rennie got both calls wrong. Welsh player did not knock the ball forward at all so was allowed to keep going and score. Beale clearly extended his left arm far further than he needed to ensure he knocked the ball down and correctly receive a yellow. So stop all this nitpicking and just accept that refs etc can’t pick up every little transgression and enjoy the game!!

Nov 23, 2021, 19:14

Trump and Rittenburg have zero to do with the subject.

Both were hounded by the media and a jury of fellow citizens found Rittenburg NOT GUILTY on all trumped up charges.

Stay tuned to see the outcome of what is going to transpire in the  defamation and slander claims.

Rittenburg is going to be a very rich young man.


Nov 23, 2021, 19:17

moolaa what about the RED card incident?

Nov 23, 2021, 19:54

Called beeno trump as a gag and he brought up rittenhouse?

Nov 23, 2021, 19:55

"Rittenhouse decided to go out on a public street, with loaded automatic gun like Rambo....shit is about to go down when you do that..."

If he didn't have a rifle, he would have been murdered for putting out a fire...all tree his assailants were armed..2 with guns and another trying to beat his head in with a skateboard...nothing wrong with guns...people are the problem. 

Nov 23, 2021, 20:29

A loaded gun at home makes the odds of a homicide 2.7 times as likely and a suicide 9.2 times as likely. Legal guns make illegal guns much easier to possess. Who is more likely to pull the trigger, you or the thug that is trying to break into your house.

Nov 23, 2021, 21:07

AJH, yes that was a ridiculous call in my opinion. A simple clash of heads. Don’t think it was even worth a penalty, let alone a yellow, let alone a red!!! Unbelievable! On another tack, I simultaneously watched Liverpool vs Arsenal along with the rugby test. Football takes 90 mins against 80 for a rugby game as you will be well aware. I timed it as they both started at 6.30am NZ time and the rugby test finished ELEVEN minutes after the football game!! Isn’t that a sad indictment on our rugby when there’s a 21 minute swing comparing playing times??

Nov 23, 2021, 22:44

Interesting point.

Nov 24, 2021, 07:46

Yes, rugby matches must end on time.

If not, then nothing means anything and the world will end.

On the one hand rugby is unique and we should accept that refs will miss many calls in a game. On the other hand we refuse to accept that perhaps games should take a bit longer.

Give us your patience but also don’t.

Nov 24, 2021, 08:03

You can't claim professionalism and still do things like amateurs...

Nov 24, 2021, 12:57

"best it's gonna get"

This bullshit claim that the ref decisions cannot get any better is just that..... bullshit

People that repeatedly make this claim very obviously always settle for mediocrity in life

Nov 24, 2021, 17:47

And the reffing was much worse 5 years ago, 15 years ago….50 years ago. So are all those results tainted? Every one of these incidents takes time, most need multiple viewing….it’s boring, but more importantly is reduces momentum for the dominant team.

Rugby has always been continuous…..but over time the unbridled use of substitutes, reviews and water breaks has taken away from that. So now we are closer to American football than we think.

Players like Nyakane and Nche would  have had to slim down in the old days. Now they can play for a half and put up their feet.

All these changes make Rugby less….have ref performance reviews, perhaps give teams a panel to choose from….that makes their approval important, use the TMO only for foul play and tries and leave the rest to the 3 officials on the park.

Nov 24, 2021, 21:15

So you agree that there's room for improvement...good.

Nov 25, 2021, 07:58

Good points moz

It's this, "there is nothing more we can do, it won't get any better, this is the best it is going to get so just accept it" attitude that I completely disagree with..... it's stupid

Everything improves, evolves, adapts.....

As I said, this kind of mentality is of someone who accepts mediocracy as a fact of life.....

Nov 25, 2021, 09:07

Every time reffing comes up, those that have gripes talk about big incidents that likely changed the outcome of a match.

The confusion comes when it’s then automatically assumed that people expect every detail of the game to be throughly scrutinised.

That’s simply not the case.

A good starting point would be that none of the very obvious decisions should be gotten wrong.

Like when a linesman is 5m from a clear infringement that he is looking directly at yet. Or when a ref hastily makes a huge call and it’s clear he made a mistake yet the TMO remains quiet throughout.

I think most of us understand that you can’t get everything correct. We’d love for that to be possible but it just isn’t.

I’ll go back to the SBW sending off against the Lions. The attacker rapidly changes direction, SBW was down one knee to be low enough for the hit while ball carrier falls into his shoulder.

SBW is sent off and the game/series is ruined.

How about Joubert’s abject failure in the WC match between France and the ABs?

How about the Boks and Bryce?

Forget using a fine tooth comb for individual instances in matches. Start looking at the biggest matches on the biggest stages in the last 15 years and ask yourself how many of those were well officiated and how many we basically decided by the ref.

Rassies soured our Lions series and it’s soo special because it only comes around every 12 years. Shame on Rassie, right?

How about, yes it is special and yes we treasure every Lions series and that’s exactly why we expect refs that are up to it and professional enough to make the right calls in big moments?

Nov 25, 2021, 09:59

Bloody good post Plum, I completely agree

Nov 25, 2021, 11:39

Something I've always been interested in is how refs to tend to make the worst calls later games.

One could argue that supporters are more invested in later stages of the game so reffing mistakes are scrutinised and noticed more. 

For assumption sake, let's assume a discrepancy of 20%...

Would that suggest that a different ref for each half is a good route to take?

We also keep arguing that there's not an end to the adjustments that we could make with technology but we'll never get it all right.

However, the problem isn't with the technology but rather with the person/people in the chair. 

Consider Bismark's sending for the textbook tackle on Golden boy. While the ref is sending Bissie off, everybody else is watching the textbook tackle in slow-mo and realising that the game is being ruined.

At no point did the technology fail. The implementation of it from a procedural point of view is what caused the shambles. Consider that the ref and TMO are in full communication and the TMO is perfectly aware that a huge mistake has just been made.

And things like this keep occurring to this day.

It becomes a problem when the use of technology is lumped in with poor implementation of it. 

This might shed some light...

RTS gamers at very high levels can make 10 actions per second...or 600 actions per minute. At least a quarter of these moves are related to camera angles. F1 = (Squad 3) and while CTRL+1 = (Camera 6).

I'd get 4 third tier RTS gamers, capable of about 200 actions per minute who know the rules of rugby and then let them customise their own camera hotkeys. And then I'd put money on them being far more accurate than what the current system produces.

Nov 25, 2021, 12:43

World rugby keep changing the bloody rules and are so obsessed with having a fast pace game, all action and minimise stoppages to try and compete with soccer. 

I think the Rules really started to get bugger up after the 2007 world cup when they ruled against the 22 line clearance. Rugby was in a good space then. We saw good amount of tries being scored. But now we end up with this helter scelter game, everyone is launching bombs or trying to run from their goal line. 

Rugby is ultimately a strategic game with periods of flow. 

They need to go back to the bloody basics and stop adding stupid rules, like the new 50/22. Maybe the fans will be able to actually follow the game and the refs would stop making mistakes. 

What they should change.

1. Scrum - feed the ball in straight, what is the point of the scrum. Engagement, get front row to engage and then the locks, followed by the backrow. Too many stoppages around here, if you made it a fair contest and let the actual best scrumming team win. 

2. Kicking, enough of this stupid goal line drop out, not being able to find touch, ball always having to be in play. Just give the teams less time to reset. 

3. Penalty advantage, why allow 2 min of free play, wasting up time when a penalty is only 1min and 30 sec to kick for goal. You get 1 free crack, either get over the advantage line or if you keep possession for more than 30 sec then you lose your penalty. I have no problem with teams trying something during advantage but the other team just ends up spoiling it because they know they can go off side and break the rules. 

4. Off side line, the boks are actually really good to create space from the ruck but I see a lot of other teams infringe on this. 

Anyway, I can go on about this, but that is not the point. The point being is that the laws have become way to complicated and changed too many times

Nov 25, 2021, 18:48

Hoor, Hoor.

Nov 25, 2021, 21:32

"Anyway, I can go on about this, but that is not the point. The point being is that the laws have become way to complicated and changed too many times"

too much grey and no black or white.

Nov 27, 2021, 23:57

You forgot about the f--- up of all f---- ups.

The forward pass in 2007 - France against NZ.


Nov 28, 2021, 07:15

Draad....:"too much grey and no black or white."

There's a lot of truth in that....

Some things were perfectly clear, seen with the vision of youth
No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth
These days it's harder to say I know what I'm fighting for
My faith is falling away
I'm not that sure anymore
Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Black and white is how it should be
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Once there were trenches and walls and one point of every view
Fight 'til the other man falls
Kill him before he kills you
These days the edges are blurred, I'm old and tired of war
I hear the other man's words
I'm not that sure anymore
Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Black and white was so easy for me
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Now with the wisdom of years I try to reason things out
And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts
Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they're for
I won't be righteous again
I'm not that sure anymore
Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
There ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see
Shades of grey wherever I go

The more I find out the less that I know
There ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see

Nov 29, 2021, 02:07

Having now viewed this game in it’s entirety the only contentious point I can see, and it’s a biggie, is the knock down pass/try. Surely if the intent is to knock down the pass it doesn’t matter that it went backwards by accident? Or is that then construed to be prima facia evidence of intent to knock it back to your side?

The Beale knock down was clear and has been yellow carded all year. Don’t know what Rennie is on about.

The red card is totally justified. This head clashing tackling stuff …. literally a head butt ….is the most dangerous move in rugby. Now hardly ever seen after years in which it was rampant.it has no place in the game, it’s the tackler’s responsibility to avoid the carrier’s head.

Australia was clearly the better team on the Park but had a few crucial lapses in discipline. The knock down  try seemed like an error but was thoroughly reviewed by the TMO, Jonker. Perhaps the main  problem with reffing this year comes from Jonker’s unwillingness to take on the field ref and disagree with him.

Nov 29, 2021, 12:24

"Perhaps the main  problem with reffing this year comes from Jonker’s unwillingness to take on the field ref and disagree with him."

The crux ...and a crowd pleaser...IMO...also when he carried the whistle back in the day.

Nov 29, 2021, 14:53

So looks like there is a bit of a Ref war between SA and Aus, they hate jonker and we hate all of their refs. 

Just wish some nerd would put some AI into the games that can ping teams rather than some stupid ref who get taken up with the occasion. 

Off sides, forward passes, in front of the kicker can all be sorted through AI. 

Pretty much what they have in tennis or cricket. 

Take that away from Refs and let them concentrate on the real stuff, player safety

Nov 29, 2021, 20:49

I agree, King

Why not have the mandatory admin, so often missed by refs, sorted via machine learning and AI.

There are way more complicated aspects in different fields where AI does a great and reliable job at extremely low failure rates.

I’d add lineout throws, scrum feeds, wheeling of scrums, obstruction and perhaps late tackles to the list of things AI could sort out.

Something I brought up a while back was reaction times. Refs often send players off for infringements where there wasn’t enough time for the infringing player to adequately respond to the situation in front of him. For example…if I show you a light on a screen and you have to click a mouse button as soon as you see the light, then 0,2 seconds is about what pro gamers with excellent reflexes can achieve. And all they have to move is one finger by a few millimetres when they see the stimulus.

So if we are sending a player off when he has about 0,3 seconds to respond but his response would entail moving his entire body into the correct position during that time then clearly said player is a victim of the situation and not his own decision in the moment.

This is another, although less frequent situation, where AI could be very handy.

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