MX23RW : Monday, December 10 22:43:10

France refuse to blame referee Craig Joubert

France refuse to blame referee
© PA Photos
France refuse to blame referee Craig Joubert for their World Cup Final defeat to New Zealand.

France have refused to place the blame for their Rugby World Cup final defeat to New Zealand at the hands of referee Craig Joubert.

Some commentators believed that France were treated unfairly by Joubert and that many New Zealand infringements went unpunished.

Despite being asked repeatedly by reporters to comment on the refereeing, France coach Marc Lievremont refused to criticise South African ref Joubert.

"I met him [Joubert] two days ago and I told him that I thought he is the best referee in the world," Lievremont said.

"I told him that the pressure must be enormous and that everyone can make mistakes. I promised him that whatever happened, I would not say anything about the refereeing."

Captain Thierry Dusautoir also refused to be drawn into criticising Joubert.

"I am very disappointed with the result but it's not the moment to criticise the referee," he said.

"He is one of the best in the world and we did not do enough to get the vital penalty we needed at the end."

French tabloids reported that Joubert's Wikipedia article was vandalised by angry French rugby fans after the final.


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