Coach: Send NZ ref to Wales to explain

By NZ Herald staff

The defence coach for Wales believes New Zealand touch judge Vinny Munro should fly to Wales to explain the decision not to award James Hook's penalty kick against South Africa during their Rugby World Cup pool match in Wellington on Sunday.

In the 15th minute, the Welsh first-five sent a penalty kick to the right of the right-hand post, however it curled back towards goal. Controversy followed, as assistant referee Munro, who was on that post, and George Clancy of Ireland, adjudged it did not go over the crossbar, rather deeming it have curled back in after passing the posts.

Referee Wayne Barnes opted not seek the assistance of the television match official, Matt Goddard, which he was entitled to, and has received the support of the International Rugby Board.

Wales went on to lose 17-16 to the defending champions.

Writing in the Guardian, Shaun Edwards, who played league for England and Great Britain, believed the video referee should have been used.

"In such an important match, when the technology is there and could be used, a minute taken to check was vital when we all know the human eye can often be deceived in such circumstances."

Edwards drew parallels between the incident and the All Blacks loss to France in the quarter finals four years ago, where All Blacks fans felt robbed due to the referee missing a forward pass which lead to a try and numerous offside calls.

"If memory serves, the International Rugby Board apologised for, I think, three poor decisions that went against the All Blacks and Mr Barnes - correct, the same Wayne Barnes, a referee for whom I have considerable respect - was invited down to New Zealand to mend fences and build bridges. This time around, I'd like to extend a similar kind of invitation for Mr Munro to visit Wales and explain how he could have been so certain, given that as a result Wales now cannot afford another blip in this tournament."

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