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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

Cheika slams referee Peyper for 'ludicrous decision' on Farrell tackle

The Australia head coach was understandably upset with the England fly-half’s technique.

Owen Farrell was the centre of attention for his tackle technique this afternoon.
Owen Farrell was the centre of attention for his tackle technique this afternoon.
Image: Tim Ireland

AUSTRALIA HEAD COACH Cheika ripped into South African referee Jaco Peyper over two key decisions in the 37-18 defeat by England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 51-year-old Australian – whose side end the year with just four wins in their 13 Tests, their worst record since 1995 – labelled Peyper’s decision not to award a penalty try on the stroke of half-time for an Owen Farrell shoulder charge on Australian lock Izack Rodda as “ludicrous”.

Cheika – whose job is considered to be safe as it is less than a year to the World Cup – didn’t use that or Peyper’s decision earlier in the first-half to overturn an initial call awarding a try to the Wallabies as excuses for the defeat declaring England were the better side.

“England were the better team and had us under pressure for a long time but we defended well,” said Cheika.

However, the justification that Rodda tried to take [Farrell] on with his shoulder is ludicrous, that is what happens when you carry the ball.

“The other week at a referees conference they said that Farrell’s effort to tackle without the ball at the end of the South Africa Test (which in the final move of the match saw no penalty awarded at the time giving England victory) should have been a penalty.

“Well this was three penalties.”

Cheika – world coach of the year in 2015 after guiding the Australians to the World Cup final less than a year after taking over – was especially annoyed the disallowed try by Dane Haylett-Petty earlier had been awarded and then revoked just as the conversion was about to be taken.

“Don’t put words in my mouth please,” Cheika said grinning in response to a question as to whether it was the worst decision he had ever witnessed.

“The thing here is about wanting to see regular occurrences.

“In the first try that was disallowed against us, the guy was about to go back and kick the goal.

“They played the video on the screen five times in a row until someone took notice.

“Then the TMO decided he was going to check it and within 30 seconds they decided it was a no try.”

‘Not good enough’

Cheika says he was left astounded by the reasoning for not referring the Rodda incident back to the video referee.

“I was enquiring for management below on the touchline to ask why it wasn’t being looked at they replied time is up and that reason is not good enough,” said Cheika.

I am not sure if we are doing something particularly wrong in our coaching but we have had some pretty significant calls against us this year.”

Australian captain Michael Hooper was also left astonished that the Farrell shoulder charge was not referred back upstairs.

“I was surprised it was turned around against us,” said Hooper.

“As a ball carrier, you carry with your shoulder.

“Simple as. I was surprised there was no luck at it. We were waiting for the TMO to have a look but there was not a look, which I thought was quite surprising.”

© – AFP 2018  

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