Johannesburg — Argentina’s coach Michael Cheika has criticized Australian referee Damon Murphy following Saturday’s loss to the Springboks, in which four of his players were yellow-carded and they conceded 22 penalties.
The Boks defeated the Pumas, 38-21, in the last round of the Rugby Championship at Kings Park.
South Africa finished second, one point behind New Zealand, the eight-time champions, while Argentina ended last with nine points, one less than Australia.
Cheika intimated last Saturday that he was displeased with referee James Doleman’s performance during the Wallabies’ 36-20 home loss to the Springboks, but refrained from overtly criticizing him.
“I promised my mother that we would never longer discuss referees, and I cannot lie to her,” the Australian told reporters in Buenos Aires.
Cheika broke his silence on the referees following his team’s third consecutive loss in the southern hemisphere tournament after winning two of the first three games.
“After three rounds of the Rugby Championship, we were the team with the fewest penalties. We do not understand what we have suddenly done wrong.
Cheika stated, in reference to the 17-point loss in Durban, that it is very difficult to win games when such decisions are made.
“At one point, the referee informed our captain (Julian Montoya) that he feels compassion for him. Respect, not empathy, is what we require.”
Cheika stated that they should have won at least two more matches throughout their season, which featured a shocking first victory for Argentina in New Zealand.
“We should have won after getting within two points of South Africa in Buenos Aires,” he stated.
“I also believe that the score in Durban did not accurately reflect the match.
“The lesson we’ve learned from our most recent game is that it’s crucial to make sound decisions at crucial periods.”
Argentina must establish a winning attitude prior to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, where they will face England, Samoa, Chile, and Japan in Pool D, according to Cheika.
“Argentina are capable of winning more Tests than us. We must abandon the illusion that mere competition is adequate. We must consistently win,” Cheika stated.
This Rugby Championship has taught us numerous things that we must use to our November trip of Europe.
Argentina is slated to play England on November 6 at Twickenham, Wales six days later at the Millennium Stadium, and Scotland on November 19 at Murrayfield.