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Galthie blames ref for France's World Cup loss to South Africa

Five months after France crashed out of their own World Cup at the hands of eventual winners South Africa, Fabien Galthie has revisited the fateful quarterfinal match in Paris to aim for the refereeing performance of Ben O’Keeffe.


Speaking at a review of France’s recent Six Nations campaign in Marcoussis, the head coach of Les Bleus addressed the 28-29 loss to the Springboks, something that many believe had an impact on their recent form.

While France captain Antoine Dupont was forthright in his excoriation of the officiating in the aftermath of the loss, Galthie was much more reserved.

However, he took the opportunity this week to discuss the topic.

“We lost the quarterfinal for rugby reasons but also for refereeing decisions,” he said, as reported by French outlet Midi Olympique (translated by Google).

“We also spoke about it with Ben O’Keeffe during a recent meeting at World Rugby.

“The decision is part of the match and we accept it.


“You will never see me react directly to an arbitration decision.

“But we can discuss it coldly.

“In a World Rugby committee, I therefore had the opportunity to speak with Ben O’Keeffe.

“At one point in the meeting, there was a discussion about the behaviour of the selectors.


“I took the floor and said that we had a major role as educators and that we must behave with respect towards the referees. This is fundamental.

“I told him that my players had been strongly impacted by questionable decisions.

“Everyone agreed on the fact that some decisions weren’t the right ones.

“He wasn’t at all happy with his performance either.”

The South Africa players themselves were not out of the firing line of the former scrumhalf’s rebuke, with flank Kwagga Smith being singled out.

“There is a ball stolen with elbows on the ground by Kwagga Smith which gives three points to the Springboks, for example.

“We want to count on the work of regulation and rules undertaken in these World Rugby committees.

“We must make our voice heard.”


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