Tuesday, 27 September
Referee Mathieu Raynal said on Monday he took “100% responsibility” for the disputed decision at the end of this month’s first Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Frenchman Raynal penalised Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley on 15 September for time wasting in the final minute of their defeat to the All Blacks in Melbourne.
The hosts led by three points before conceding a late try to lose the opening Bledisloe Cup fixture.
“I take total responsibility for what I did, 100%,” Raynal told reporters after being named French rugby’s referee of the season.
“I had a necessary reason for making the decision even if it was a strong one which caused people to talk.
“I try to do what is the most fair. That’s at the heart of my job.
“Sometimes it creates tensions, frustrations, arguments but I take responsibility over what I do,” the 41-year-old added.
Veteran Foley said after the game he did not waste time claiming he was unable to hear Raynal’s on-field instructions at the 56 000-capacity Marvel Stadium.
“I told a player five times to kick the ball to touch. I couldn’t do otherwise,” Raynal said.
“It’s not me who decided to make the decision, it was the player who forced me to make it,” he added.
Australia coach Dave Rennie slammed the decision saying he had “never seen a call like that, at any level”.
Raynal added: “I had a discussion with him which was very sincere and honest.
“He was satisfied by the refereeing during the entirety of the match. Obviously we didn’t agree on the final decision.
“I can guarantee we had a calm conversation,” he added.
Raynal was then assistant referee on Saturday as New Zealand hammered Australia to clinch The Rugby Championship.
“To be honest I deleted newspaper and social media applications.
“I had just CandyCrush and the clock on my phone.
“I didn’t follow what happened.
“To keep my head, it was the best thing to do to keep focussed on the second match. My job finishes once I leave the field,” he added.