Australians slam gaffe ref Rolland
Australia's Rugby Union has criticised Irish World Cup referee Alain Rolland after the IRB were forced into a U-turn over a substitution gaffe.
Despite insisting this week that he was right to force Australia to play with just 14 men in their Rugby Championship defeat to South Africa last Saturday, the IRB yesterday confirmed that he had erred.
Rolland ruled the Wallabies couldn't make a replacement in the 73rd minute of the Pretoria fixture as they'd used their seven substitutions.
But after reviewing the incident, the IRB declared last night Rolland and his match officials were wrong, having erred in making a replacement when prop Benn Robinson replaced an injured Ben Alexander.
Under Law 3.12, front-rowers who've been subbed off can come back on the field if another prop is injured, without it counting as a substitution, to ensure safe scrummaging.
In a statement, the ARU said: "It is ARU's position that management of the issue was not best practice and, in rugby, accountability exists in equal measure for match officials as it does for players and coaches. ARU hopes the referee has learnt from this error."