Rugby World Cup: TMO would have clarified penalty - Cotter

Scotland's Greig Laidlaw
Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw kicked 19 points in defeat

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter says the penalty that saw Australia condemn his side to a 35-34 World Cup quarter-final defeat should have been referred to the television match official.

Referee Craig Joubert penalised Scotland for deliberate offside in the last minute at Twickenham.

World Rugby regulations only permit the TMO to rule on foul play, or whether tries or kicks at goal are legitimate.

But Cotter said a TMO referral "would have taken away any doubt".

At the final whistle, Joubert ran for the tunnel without shaking hands with the players, which former Scotland full-back Gavin Hastings said was "the worst thing I have seen on a rugby field in a very long time".

Asked about the uproar among supporters and commentators, Cotter said: "I think there's going to be a lot of emotion over this game.

"Everyone will have their opinion and we appreciate their support."

Peter Horne, Tommy Seymour and Mark Bennett crossed for Scotland, with Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell (twice), Michael Hooper and Tevita Kuridrani doing likewise for the Wallabies.

Cotter praised his players for their effort in running one of the tournament favourites so close.

"I feel sorry for the group of players that have come off the field," he said. "They came very close, put in a great performance, so I feel for them and, when the emotion's gone, we'll sit back and analyse it.

"They threw everything at it, absolutely. It was a brave performance; they showed courage, character and, most of all, they showed belief. They were going for it.

"That'll get lodged into the hard drives and hopefully that'll prepare us for the next time we have to put the jersey on."

Craig Joubert
South African official Craig Joubert took charge of the 2011 Rugby World Cup final

Captain Greig Laidlaw said it was "probably the toughest defeat I have ever had to take".

The scrum-half, who kicked 19 points, added: "We put so much into the game for 80 minutes. I am gutted to lose and to lose in that manner as well.

"If there was any doubt, to go to the TMO would have taken any doubt away.

"We have to look at ourselves as well, we picked up a yellow card and overthrew that line-out as well, so it's something we could have controlled."

Ex-Scotland stars angered by Joubert

Former Scotland full-back Gavin Hastings: "If I see referee Craig Joubert again, I am going to tell him how disgusted I am. That is the worst thing I have seen on a rugby field in a very long time. He is not prepared to face up to the players. That is not rugby and that is not the spirit of rugby.

"What he has done, he's done not only himself the greatest disservice but he's done rugby a great disservice. He should be sent home tomorrow, he should be punished and he should not be allowed to make an international refereeing commitment again."

Former Scotland winger Kenny Logan: "The referee has had a shocker. Referees shouldn't have a bad game when they've got a TMO. The yellow card was never a yellow card. It was never a penalty, it was a knock-on.

"At the end of the game, he ran down the tunnel like a scared rabbit because he made a ridiculous decision and, for me, he's ruined a perfect game of rugby because his inept attitude to using the TMO.

"The performance for me from the Scotland was different class going forward. I'm absolutely devastated for the boys."

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