Australia-Scotland: Referee Joubert branded a disgrace

Scotland are reeling from the injustice of being denied a place in the World Cup semifinals by Craig Joubert after the South African referee awarded Australia an incorrect last-gasp penalty.

The Wallabies left Twickenham with a 35-34 victory sealed by Bernard Foley's penalty with 43 seconds remaining, but the decision-making of Joubert and his rapid exit at the end of the game drew a furious response from former players.

Joubert blew the final whistle at Twickenham and then sprinted from the pitch amid a crescendo of boos; he had made a hugely-unpopular call in penalising Scotland for accidental offside and was later proved to have made an error.

World Rugby responded to dismay about the TMO not being consulted by stating that the technology can only be used for the act of scoring a try or an act of foul play.

Joubert has not spoken publicly to explain his decisions but his judgement and speedy departure from the field provoked a furious response from former players of various nationalities.

"That is the worst thing I have seen on a rugby field in a long time," Gavin Hastings, the Scotland full-back, told the BBC.

"He is not prepared to face up to the players. That is not the spirit of rugby. He should be sent home tomorrow and he should not be allowed to make an international rugby commitment again.

"If I see referee Craig Joubert again, I am going to tell him how disgusted I am. It was disgraceful that he ran straight off the pitch at the end like that."

Also among the many outraged voices was former England scrum-half Matt Dawson, who responded initially on Twitter by writing: "Craig Joubert you are a disgrace and should never referee again!! How dare you sprint off the pitch after that decision!!!" Dawson later appeared to have deleted his tweet.

Former Scotland winger Kenny Logan said: "The referee has had a shocker. He ran down the tunnel like a scared rabbit because he made a ridiculous decision and, for me, he's ruined a perfect game of rugby."

Dejected Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw, who kicked 19 points, highlighted Joubert's uncertainty when making the decision that denied any Six Nations representation in the semifinals for the first time in World Cup history.

"I asked Joubert [about the penalty] on several occasions. I'm not sure what the protocols are," Laidlaw said.

"You can see from the way he was taking his time ... he was certainly having a look at the big screen and wasn't sure himself.

"And then he made a sharp exit at the end of the game, that's for sure. I never got a chance to speak to him after the game, he was off that quick.

"It looked like to me that it hit Nick Phipps and it went back and then another player caught it. I've not had a chance to look at it on the TV, but at the time I thought there was an Aussie arm. But we're not the type of people to blame the little things."

Australia scrum-half Phipps admitted after the match he had deliberately attempted to win the loose ball that then struck Scotland openside John Hardie, his intent clearing Hardie of accidental offside.

"Everyone was trying to win the ball. We were all going for it," Phipps said.

The Press Association contributed to this report.