RWC 2023: France captain Dupont unhappy with ref after Les Bleus fall to Boks in World Cup quarterfinal

RWC 2023: France captain Dupont unhappy with ref after Les Bleus fall to Boks in World Cup quarterfinal

A disconsolate Dupont questioned whether O’Keeffe was up to the task, although he didn’t reference specific incidents. 

One issue might have been when Bok lock Eben Etzebeth knocked the ball down when France had a two-man overlap. He appeared to knock the ball back towards his own goal line, which was why O’Keeffe allowed play to continue. But the referee never reviewed it. 

“I’m not sure the refereeing was at the level of what was at stake,” Dupont said. 

“There are few clear things where the whistle could’ve blown. We could’ve had some crucial penalties, but I don’t want to be a bad loser.” 

Coach Fabien Galthié stepped in to stop the matter going further and probably landed Dupont in trouble with the powers of the game. 

“I’m not going to go there. We worked with the refs to try to play along with them and will continue to work with them,” Galthié said. 

‘There is a lot of frustration and emotion after the game. We all watched this game. We’d like to congratulate the South African team and wish them well. 

“There are so many key moments. When you’re leading 7-0 and Etzebeth cut off the ball. That was a strong moment for us and we weren’t able to finish off. Soon afterwards it was 7-7. Those are key moments … which add up. So many things went on.” 

Boks skipper Siya Kolisi was nonplussed by the suggestion they had been favoured by the ref. 

“It was an amazing game, it was tough, physically it flowed,” Kolisi said. 

“The way the two teams played outshines everything else. It was an amazing atmosphere. The French team have been building for four years so we knew it would take something special for us to win this game. 

“For a leader like Antoine to come back and play like he did, we give credit to him and France, and all the French people who made this World Cup so special. 

“When we heard the anthems, we knew how loud it was going to be. The people of France can be proud of their team. The French team and Antoine can hold their heads up high.” 

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber praised O’Keeffe, who was under pressure from a wildly partisan crowd. 

“I thought Ben was good on the day. You would say we won and that’s why I’m saying that,” Nienaber said. “We tried to take the referee out of the game — we scored four tries, and missed one or two, and one from the tee. We managed it well. I thought his communication on the day was excellent in terms of the decisions he made.” 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Rugby World Cup 2023 News Hub

Cameron Woki of France and Eben Etzebeth of South Africa contest a line-out during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 quarterfinal match between France and South Africa at Stade de France on 15 October 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images)

Faf de Klerk of South Africa wins the ball to end the game du

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