Walsh: England demands answers

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 08:32
Large steve walsh looks Large graham rowntree hands on 2 Large steve walsh points Large graham rowntree hands on he

England's Graham Rowntree is to seek "clarification" from the IRB regarding the performance of referee Steve Walsh in last Saturday's 3-30 defeat by Wales.

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree is to seek "clarification" from the International Rugby Board regarding the performance of referee Steve Walsh in last Saturday's 3-30 defeat by Wales.

Rowntree - a former international prop - was especially annoyed by the way in which Walsh controlled the breakdown and the scrum.

Wales dominated both areas as they surged to a record win over England that saw them retain the Six Nations title and deny their arch-rivals a Grand Slam at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

England were repeatedly penalised at the scrum and Rowntree's mood is unlikely to be improved by reports suggesting Wales players later privately admitted they had collapsed the set-piece on six occasions.

And the Red Rose brigade also had complaints about the legality of the turnover that led to the first of two second-half tries for Wales' Alex Cuthbert - an incident England head coach Stuart Lancaster labelled the "tipping point" of the match.

Rowntree indicated the way in which Walsh oversaw the title-decider was at variance with what the referee had told him during the pre-match meeting and he would now be seeking an explanation from Joel Jutge, the French former Test referee who is now the IRB's referees' chief.

"I sat up on Saturday night and watched the game again forensically," said Rowntree. "I'm annoyed at a lot of the outcomes and I will be speaking to the IRB to get some clarification about it.

"With Joel Jutge now in charge of the IRB referees, he's very keen for an open forum and a very honest review process from the coaches and the referees.

"In most of the games I've submitted glowing reports on referees but on this occasion we were frustrated by a lot of the outcomes and I will be speaking to Joel to get some clarification [about the] breakdown and scrum.

"I spoke to Steve after the game. We both agreed that we would go away and have a look at the game again. Having watched it, I need clarification.

"A lot of those decisions were big, game momentum-changing decisions."

Some pundits criticised England for being insufficiently "streetwise" and not adapting quickly to Walsh's interpretations at the scrum where Wales props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones had a field day.

However, Rowntree - who has repeatedly insisted he is not in the business of coaching any scrum 'tricks' - said: "I don't buy this whole 'streetwise' thing.

"We just want a clean outcome at the scrum, we don't practice anything different," he added.

There were widespread concerns voiced by Red Rose fans, if not team management, when they saw Walsh had been appointed to Saturday's key fixture because of his 'previous' with England that included a touchline row with fitness coach Dave Redddin at the 2003 World Cup.

New Zealand-born Walsh, 40 was sacked by the New Zealand Rugby Union in 2009 following his drunken arrival at a refereeing conference.

But he moved to Sydney where, having rebuilt his life, he resumed full-time refereeing under the banner of the Australian Rugby Union in 2011, taking charge of England's 19-12 World Cup quarter-final defeat by France in Auckland in October that year.

AFP

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Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SIX NATIONS
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Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0