Officials slammed for red-card call

Pro Legoete faces suspension from the Sanzar officials panel while referee Craig Joubert has been cautioned for his part in the Pat O’Connor red card incident.

In last week’s match between the Bulls and Waratahs, Legoete advised Joubert that O’Connor had headbutted a Bulls player, and Joubert responded by sending O’Connor off. It was a massive call to make in the context of the match, and it’s a call that could cost the Waratahs a place in the play-offs.

O’Connor has since been exonerated of wrong-doing and Sanzar referees boss Lyndon Bray has admitted Legoete and Joubert got it wrong.

‘We reviewed the game on Monday night and clearly the decision was wrong,’ Bray told The Australian. ‘There are two aspects which are frustrating. The description of the event was not very accurate. The process between the referee and the assistant referee was not good. It never fleshed out the details of the incident.

‘I’ve spoken to Craig Joubert about how he could have handled it better, to get better information on which to base his decision. Craig was very disappointed he ended up with that decision.

‘An experienced referee’s job is to pick up on messages he is getting. When Pro said no to a red card, clearly there was a message in that. It’s difficult in the heat of the moment. Craig believed he was dealing with a headbutt. If they had talked through what happened, maybe they would have come up with a different outcome.’

While Legoete has not been officially dropped, he hasn’t been assigned any matches this weekend or next.