World Rugby

World Rugby Responds To Controversial All Blacks Try Disallowance

World Rugby Responds To Controversial All Blacks Try Disallowance

Discover World Rugby's stance on the alleged error in the disallowed try, adding a new layer to the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup final loss controversy.

Nov 16, 2023 by Philip Bendon
World Rugby Responds To Controversial All Blacks Try Disallowance

In the wake of a media report from New Zealand, World Rugby has issued a statement addressing speculation that the governing body privately admitted an error in the disallowed try during last month's Rugby World Cup final between the All Blacks and the Springboks. 

The report, featured on, suggests that World Rugby acknowledged to the All Blacks that the ruling out of Aaron Smith's try was outside the rules but refuses to make a public acknowledgement. 

The All Blacks faced a heartbreaking 12-11 loss to South Africa in the final, and the controversy surrounding the disallowed try has added another layer to the team's "what-if" file. 

The incident occurred when TMO Tom Foley spotted a knock-on at a lineout, leading referee Wayne Barnes to disallow Smith's try. However, the crucial knock-on happened four phases before the try, a detail not in line with the TMO's authority to review only the two preceding phases for any knock-on in the buildup to a try. 

New Zealand, quick to react, managed to score a try on the 58th minute through Beauden Barrett. Unfortunately, with the missed conversion kick, they ultimately lost the final by a single point. 

In response to the media report from New Zealand, World Rugby released a statement on Tuesday. 

The statement reiterated World Rugby's longstanding policy of not publicly commenting on match official decisions. It emphasized the organization's unwavering support for its match official team, acknowledging the challenging nature of their roles in one of the most demanding professions in sports. 

The statement read, "As confirmed prior to Rugby World Cup 2023, World Rugby does not publicly comment on match official decisions. We stand by our outstanding match official team, who perform one of the hardest jobs in professional sport to an exceptional standard." 

The statement also addressed the broader implications of criticism directed toward match officials, emphasizing the potential for wide-ranging consequences, such as online hate and threats. World Rugby urged the public and the media to be mindful of the human impact of such criticisms. 

The controversy surrounding the disallowed try has ignited debates among rugby enthusiasts, with opinions divided on whether World Rugby should publicly address the alleged acknowledgement of error in the ruling. 

As the rugby community grapples with the aftermath of the World Cup final, the focus remains on the sport's ability to unite fans worldwide, irrespective of the controversies that may arise. 

In conclusion, while the media speculation has brought attention to the disallowed try incident, World Rugby's statement underscores its commitment to maintaining the integrity of match officials and highlights the potential consequences of public criticism in the era of online discourse. 

The rugby world now awaits further developments in the aftermath of this controversial revelation.