Mathieu Raynal defends his late and controversial decision to penalize Australian Bernard Foley for losing time against New Zealand; The All Blacks scored a dramatic winning try in the resulting scrum to break the hearts of the Wallabies
Last update: 28/09/22 06:37
French referee Mathieu Raynal said he stood “100%” on his controversial decision to penalize Australian Bernard Foley for wasting time against the All Blacks earlier this month.
The Wallabies were leading the Rugby Championship Test 37-34 in Melbourne when Raynal awarded them a penalty close to their own posts with less than two minutes on the clock.
Foley was preparing to kick the ball into touch but Raynal decided he wasn’t going fast enough and instead awarded New Zealand a free kick. The visitors scored the winning try from the ensuing scrum.
“I always take responsibility for what I do. I take this decision 100%,” Raynal told French media after being named national referee of the year on Monday.
“I had the necessary reasons to take it. I know it’s a decision that makes people talk, that makes a lot of noise, but I’m trying to free myself from this context of pressure to do what seems to me the fairest .
“It’s the heart of my job. And sometimes it creates tension, frustration, controversy, but I take responsibility for it. Things are never white or black but often gray.”
There was controversy late in the Bledisloe Cup tie as Jordie Barrett scored an 81st-minute try following Maynal’s decision.
The almost unprecedented decision sparked a huge outcry in Australia with former Wallabies lining up to call it a ‘shame’ and Rugby Australia writing to World Rugby to voice their concerns.
Raynal said he avoided the news as much as possible in the days following the match.
“There was criticism but a lot of support,” he added.
“To be honest, I deleted the journal and social media apps so I didn’t follow everything that was going on. To preserve myself, I only kept Candy Crush.”