Planet Rugby

Rowntree queries ref decisions

20th March 2013 07:04

Share:

referee Steve Walsh scrum collapses Wales England

Steve Walsh: Blamed for defeat

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree is to seek "clarification" from the IRB regarding the performance of referee Steve Walsh in Saturday's 30-3 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 England fans, if not team management, when they saw Walsh had been appointed to Saturday's key fixture because of his previous outings 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.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00