The Latest: Aussie coach Cheika ’embarrassed’ by refereeing
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 10 at the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):
First of all Michael Cheika was confused by the interpretations of the so-called high tackle framework that has generated plenty of debate and several suspensions at the Rugby World Cup. Now he’s just embarrassed.
After two-time champion Australia’s 29-25 loss to Six Nations winner Wales, the Wallabies coach said he thinks the match officials are just too worried about the rules.
“As a rugby player, a former player, I am embarrassed here,” he told a post-game news conference on Sunday.
While defenders making shoulder-led tackles have been in the sights of referees and the citing commissioners during the tournament, it was a penalty against an attacking player on Sunday that baffled Cheika.
Australia center Samu Kerevi was penalized after the television match official, following several minutes to assess slow-motion replays, ruled that the left arm he used as a fend as he braced to be tackled had made contact with Welsh flyhalf Rhys Patchell’s throat. Kerevi’s arm made contact with Patchell’s chest, then slipped up as the Welsh player attempted a ball-and-all tackle at chest height.
Cheika said it felt like the rules around tackle technique were causing confusion for players and officials.
“I don’t understand any more. They (referees) all seem spooked,” Cheika said. “Everybody seems worried, they are all worried about stuff so much. I am not sure why they are worried, the players aren’t worried. Then it’s affecting everything else on the field.”