By Clement Mazella
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It’s a somewhat comical situation: a week after making a rare decision at the very end of the match during Australia-All Blacks in Melbourne, paying for the 5e day of rugby leaguethe French referee Mathieu Raynal will be in action again this Saturday September 24, 2022 in Auckland for the rematch between the two teams as part of the last day of the competition.
Mathieu Raynal will be on the sidelines this time
However, unlike the previous opus when he sanctioned the Australian Bernard Foley for saving time in the dying seconds of the match, Mathieu Raynal will not be the center referee. He will be on the sidelines, and will assist Irishman Andrew Brace.
Facing the press, the Wallabies Jake Gordon and Jed Holloway admitted to being still angry with Mathieu Raynal, believing that they had lost “unfairly”. Indeed, benefiting from a 5m scrum after being penalized, the All Blacks took the opportunity to score the winning try by Jordie Barrett. A decision that had made people talk, the Australian press having given it their all to light up Mathieu Raynal.
World Rugby had appointed Mathieu Raynal well before the match
What must be kept in mind is that the appointment of Mathieu Raynal did not fall during the week. This has been in effect for quite a while now (before the start of the competition), and World Rugby has not decided to withdraw the French referee. Recall that a complaint was filed by the Australian Rugby Federation which asked for an explanation about its decision at the end of the match.
Note also that the quartet who will officiate for the revenge in Auckland this Saturday is the same as that which was present in Melbourne during the victory over the All Blacks (37-39). The only difference is that Mathieu Raynal will be on the sidelines this time, and Andrew Brace in the middle. Frenchman Pierre Brousset will be the second linesman, and Welshman Ben Whitehouse, who had detected Darcy Swain’s dangerous / scandalous gesture on Quinn Tupaea, remains on video.
A frustration “to be channeled” for Australia
“I admit, I was nervous in the locker room after the match. But now I’m looking forward to Saturday,” second row Jed Holloway said. “Our frustration with this decision, we have to channel it. We are still bitter about how we lost, but we have to do the right thing. We have to control what we can, no matter how touchy Mathieu Raynal is. If we play well for 80 minutes, I’m sure we’ll get a good result,” continued Jake Gordon.
At the dawn of the last day of the Rugby Championship, Australia is 3e ranking, the All Blacks first, but with the same number of points as South Africa.
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