Referee Mathieu Raynal said on Monday he took “full responsibility” for the disputed decision following this month’s first Test between the Wallabies and the All Blacks.
France’s Raynal penalized Wallabies fly-half Bernard Foley at Bledisloe I for wasting time in the last minute of their loss to the All Blacks in Melbourne.
The hosts led by three before conceding a late try to lose the opener of the Bledisloe Cup.
“I take full responsibility for what I did, 100 per cent,” Raynal told reporters after being named French rugby’s referee of the season.
“I had a necessary reason for making the decision even though it was a strong reason that got people talking.
“I try to do what is right. It is at the heart of my work.
“Sometimes it creates tension, frustration, arguments but I take responsibility for what I do,” added the 41-year-old.
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The veteran Foley said after the game that he wasted no time claiming he couldn’t hear Raynal’s instructions on the pitch at the 56,000 capacity Marvel Stadium.
“I told a player five times to kick the ball to touch it. I couldn’t help it,” Raynal said.
“It was not me who decided to make the decision, it was the player who forced me to do it,” he added.
The decision grabbed global headlines, with two-time World Cup winner Tim Horan calling the call a ‘disgrace’ while Wallabies great Matt Giteau said it was the ‘worst call’ he has ever had. has seen.
Former international referee Nigel Owens said he would have handled the situation differently but told foxsports.com.au it was “strong” refereeing.
Australian coach Dave Rennie slammed the decision saying he had “never seen a call like this, at any level”.
Later, when announcing his squad for Bledisloe II, Rennie said World Rugby “agreed” with their concerns.
But Raynal did not back down on his decision, saying he had an “honest” discussion with the Australian coach.
“I had a discussion with him that was very sincere and honest,” Raynal said.
“He was satisfied with the refereeing throughout the match. Obviously, we disagreed on the final decision.
“I can guarantee we had a calm conversation,” he added.
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Raynal was then assistant referee on Saturday as the All Blacks hammered the Wallabies to win the Rugby Championship.
“To be honest, I deleted the apps from newspapers and social networks.
“I just had CandyCrush and the clock on my phone.
“I did not follow what happened.
“To keep a cool head, it was the best thing to do to stay focused on the second game. My job ends once I leave the field,” he added.