Linesman dropped for Mitchell yellow card call
Wednesday 04 August 2010
Linesman Cobus Wessels has been axed for this weekend's New Zealand-Australia clash due to the bad call that ultimately led to Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell being sent off in the first Bledisloe Cup match last week.
The South African ran the line in the All Blacks' 49-28 win over the Wallabies in Melbourne but was stood down on Wednesday by the International Rugby Board (IRB) for Saturday's Tri-Nations match in Christchurch.
It was on Wessels' recommendation that Mitchell, who was to be sent off in the second half, was yellow-carded for a late tackle on New Zealand flanker Richie McCaw in the first period.
"If anything, it's lucky to be a penalty," IRB referees chief Paddy O'Brien told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).
"McCaw offloads as he's about to collide with Drew Mitchell, who puts his hands out and pushes him away. So there's no way it's a yellow card offence.
"As a result of that, with the second yellow, Australia went without a player for 30 minutes and that just shouldn't have happened."
New Zealander O'Brien said Wessels had also mistakenly called a lineout throw not straight.
"Assistant referees, we encourage them to intervene in the game but they've got to get it right," he said.
"There were two decisions made which we felt weren't up to the standard required.
"Cobus has been very understanding, he admits that he got it wrong and we're not going to hang him out to dry. He's got to go away and think about that... and hopefully learn a lesson from it."
New Zealander Keith Brown will run the line on Saturday in place of Wessels, who will act as the video referee.
The use of an official from the same country as the home team would not be a precedent for future tests, an IRB news release said.
"The appointment... is owing to the logistical and preparation pressures of selecting a neutral official for Saturday's match," it read.
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Tottenham player ratings: Christian Eriksen? Harry Kane? Who was the star man at Bramall Lane?
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berdych - LIVE! Australian Open semi-final latest as Murray wins after losing first set
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia