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“It’s just embarrassing for the code”: Kearns slams refereeing after controversial Wallabies loss

Former Wallaby Phil Kearns has slammed the officiating of World Rugby after Australia’s controversial loss to Wales on Sunday night.

The Wallabies went down 29-25 to the Welsh but it was the refereeing that garnered the headlines once again.

Star Centre Samu Kerevi was penalised for a dangerous fend while Wales were awarded a dubious intercept try that many pundits thought was offside.

“It’s just embarrassing for the code unfortunately. We shouldn’t be talking about it, we should be talking about some great performances, and some great tries”, Kearns said.

“But instead, they do just keep getting it wrong and Michael Cheika’s summation of ‘I don’t know the rules anymore’, I think is pretty accurate and pretty fair.”

With the first week of the World Cup being plagued by on-field controversy, Kearns said the blame lies with the officials from World Rugby.

“At the end of the first week of the tournament, World Rugby came out and said the refereeing is poor. Well they create the laws that the referees abide by so I think they were a bit spooked by that”, Kearns said.

“They’ve been overly cautious and are really fretting about every decision they make. The TMO and the rest of them are just really tensive and making poor decisions.”

Kearns believes the decision to review Kerevi’s fend illustrates a worrying trend that contact sports are going through.

“I would hate to think what would have happened to Luke Keary in our game. He would have been suspended for twenty-six years. It’s a contact sport and we’ve got big units who are six foot. Of course there is going to be contact in the game”, Kearns said.