Joubert: 'The best referee in the world'

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:32
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B&I Lions coach Warren Gatland believes Saturday's potential series clinching Test in Melbourne will be controlled by 'the No.1 referee in the world'.

British and Irish Lions referee Warren Gatland believes Saturday's potential series clinching Test against Australia in Melbourne will be controlled by 'the No.1 referee in the world..

Gatland saw his side move into a strong position with their 23-21 win over the Wallabies in Brisbane last week - a game refereed by New Zealand's Chris Pollock.

It will now be South African Craig Joubert's whistle that will determine the Lions' destiny on Saturday.

Gatland said: "I thought he [Joubert] was good in terms of the support he gave the referee and I'm looking forward to the No.1 referee in the world [controling the game] on Saturday."

Joubert was in charge of the 2011 World Cup Final and is well known to Gatland and his Welsh contingent.

He was the referee for the final game of the Welsh Six Nations campaign against France in 2013 and was the man who oversaw a record 18 kicks at goal in the win over Scotland at Murrayfield earlier in the year.

Gatland said: "Craig Joubert is a very experienced referee. We'll put the first Test behind us and it will probably be good for him having been an assistant referee in that match, on the sideline, to know about the pace of the game.

"I thought he was good in terms of the support he gave the referee and I'm looking forward to the No.1 referee in the world [being in charge] on Saturday. We'll meet with him just to get an insight into how he's going to referee the breakdown.

"We felt there were a couple of off-the-ball incidents last weekend - we felt Jonathan Davies was taken off the ball with a charge by someone who changed his line and as a result of that there was a turnover and Australia received a penalty straight after that too.

"We've got a few things we want sorted and I presume [Wallaby coach] Robbie [Deans] has a few things from the Australian point of view as well. It's just part of the game at the moment.

"When you've got as good a goal-kicker as we've got, you have to be a bit more direct and not try to play so wide because he called 'advantage over' very quickly. The referees sometimes play a lengthy advantage and that is one of the inconsistencies in the game.

"A few players came off the field feeling a bit frustrated. They found it difficult [to understand] a couple of times when they were penalised. But that's behind us now and we're confident this weekend with Craig Joubert."


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