Controversy Over Referee Ben O’Keeffe’s Decisions

Controversy Over Referee Ben O’Keeffe’s Decisions

World Rugby has raised concerns about five major errors made by New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe during the 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-final, including Cheslin Kolbe’s charge-down of a conversion attempt by France fullback Thomas Ramos.

O’Keeffe’s Continued Role

Despite the controversy surrounding O’Keeffe’s refereeing decisions, he has been chosen to officiate the semi-final match between the Springboks and England at the Stade de France in Paris.

Kolbe’s Crucial Block

During the quarter-final clash, Kolbe made a remarkable run from his own tryline to block Ramos’ conversion attempt, which played a crucial role in the Springboks’ 29-28 victory over France.

Debate Over Kolbe’s Timing

The timing of Kolbe’s run has been a subject of debate, with questions arising about whether he started his run before the French kicker began his run-up to the ball.

World Rugby’s Analysis

A World Rugby analysis of O’Keeffe’s performance suggests that Kolbe did leave the tryline early, and the conversion should have been re-taken. This charge-down was just one of five reported incorrect decisions made by O’Keeffe during the match.

Controversial Decisions

The five major errors highlighted by World Rugby’s analysis include a dangerous clean-out by Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit in the 17th minute, which should have resulted in a yellow card.

Additionally, a turnover by Kwagga Smith late in the second half, which led to a penalty for South Africa, should have been awarded to France.

More Controversial Moments

World Rugby also ruled that France wing Damian Penaud should have received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Eben Etzebeth in the ninth minute.

Cameron Woki should have been penalized for offside when he prevented Faf de Klerk from passing to Handre Pollard for a potential drop-goal in France’s 22m area.

Public Reaction

The controversy has sparked discussions among fans about O’Keeffe’s refereeing decisions and whether his role in the upcoming match is a cause for concern.

Have Your Say

Fans are encouraged to share their opinions on Ben O’Keeffe’s refereeing by leaving comments or contacting The South African via email or WhatsApp.

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