World Rugby 'agree' with Australia concerns over referee Mathieu Raynal's time-wasting call

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Australia's Bernard Foley (L) with referee Mathieu Raynal in the closing stages of the Rugby Championship match between Australia and New Zealand at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 15 September 202 - Shutterstock
Australia's Bernard Foley (L) with referee Mathieu Raynal in the closing stages of the Rugby Championship match between Australia and New Zealand at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 15 September 202 - Shutterstock

Dave Rennie, the Australia head coach, has revealed that World Rugby “agreed with their concerns” after referee Mathieu Raynal penalised fly-half Bernard Foley for time-wasting at the end of last week's Bledisloe Cup match.

In the 79th minute of a pulsating Rugby Championship encounter in Melbourne, the Wallabies won a late penalty after a long defensive stand on their own try-line. If Foley had kicked the ball to touch and his team had won the subsequent line-out, victory would almost certainly have been theirs.

However, Foley stalled and, after repeated warnings from Raynal, the Frenchman called the fly-half up for time-wasting and awarded New Zealand a five-metre scrum, from which Jordie Barrett scored the winning try for the All Blacks.

'We've decided to take that on the chin and move on'

Rennie said that the Wallabies had “sought clarity” from World Rugby, implying that the global governing body agreed that Raynal had made an error.

“We’ve obviously been in contact with World Rugby around it and they agreed with our concerns,” Rennie said.

“We’ve decided to just take that on the chin and we’re going to move on. It’s seven days since we played that game, we’re a couple of days from a big game in Auckland, and that’s our focus now. We sought a bit of clarity and we got that.

“It’s not going to help us win on the weekend.”

When approached by Telegraph Sport, World Rugby did not wish to comment.

Rennie’s counterpart, Ian Foster, whose New Zealand side triumphed 39-37 last weekend, backed Raynal in the aftermath and doubled down this week.

"My response after the game was more around players have got to learn to listen to referees," Foster said.

"It's a cliche to say, 'there is overall problems with the officiating', I think you have to be really specific.

"It's tough on refs now, they are under a lot of scrutiny.

"When people perceive that decisions have cost games, then they get put under the microscope, don't they? Last week's [game] has created an issue that has been pretty well talked about."

New Zealand host Australia this weekend at Auckland’s Eden Park while Argentina travel to Durban to face South Africa in the Rugby Championship’s final round. Both the Springboks and All Blacks enter the final round tied on 14 points, with New Zealand top of the standings by dint of a better points differential.