Not just Rassie! Italy coach slams World Rugby ref protocols: ‘I’m sick of the right channels’ | Sport

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Kieran Crowley. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)


Kieran Crowley. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

  • Italy head coach Kieran Crowley blasted the refereeing in his team’s 17-29 loss to Wales, prompting questions whether he’ll face possible sanctions like Rassie Erasmus.
  • Notably, the New Zealander said he’s “sick” of World Rugby’s protocol of going through the “right channels”.
  • Crowley couldn’t believe his team were on the wrong side of the overall result when Wales conceded 17 penalties.

Will Kieran Crowley be warned (or worse) by World Rugby for criticising a referee or is that something only reserved for Rassie Erasmus?

Crude as it may appear, it’s a question bubbling under the surface after Italy’s head coach slammed the officiating in his team’s 17-29 loss to Wales in a Six Nations encounter in Rome on Saturday, one that was indeed marred by indifferent decision-making by Damon Murphy.

The New Zealander, eye-catchingly, stated that he’s “sick” of the world governing body’s protocol dictating that teams must correspond with Joel Jutge, World Rugby’s head of referees, in questioning the refereeing during a relevant match.

Coaches usually send clips to Jutge’s department, who review the footage and provide feedback.

But as Erasmus and Springbok management have intimated previously – along with many other coaches all around the world – the cumbersome and seemingly inconsequential process is not really improving accountability nor referees’ performances.

“It’s funny, it’s you’ve got to go through the right channels, but I’m getting sick of going through the right channels and getting a response that says: ‘Oh, we’re sorry we got it wrong’,  because that just wasn’t good enough today,” Crowley said in a television interview after the final whistle.

“Oh yeah, look, if we get that penalty try it’s 15-10. What happened from there they came down the other end and got a penalty try.”

Crowley was particularly stumped by a penalty count that went against the Welsh yet still translated in the Italians being on the wrong end of the overall result.

“Oh bloody oath, god, I mean, how can a team give away 17 penalties, not be warned once five or six of those on their own line,” he said. 

“Then not awarding of a penalty try to us in the first half. There was clearly that number 10 was offside when he tackled.

He was referring to Owen Williams’ tackle on Juan Ignacio Brex.

“Then they didn’t even review the two guys that were cleaned out in the backfield when we broke. So there’s a lot of bloody frustration. Look, our execution wasn’t good enough at times. We’ve made a lot of line breaks and didn’t finish them so. We’re gonna take that on the chin and look at things we can control.” 

No official comment has been made by World Rugby yet.





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