Romania have qualified for the World Cup after a dramatic finale to the Rugby Europe Championship on Sunday saw Spain lose 18-10 to Belgium.
In the driving seat with a game in hand over Romania, Spain needed to defeat Belgium in the final round of European qualification matches to confirm their participation at a Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1999.
Completely out of order.
You understand Spain’s disappointment at blowing RWC qualification. The (Romanian) ref made some odd calls, but there’s NO excuse for this. Heads gone pic.twitter.com/VDWLQPlMVd
— Tim Cocker (@cocker) March 18, 2018
However, Belgium raced into a 15-0 lead and, despite a late fightback, Los Leones could not finish the job off, losing 18-10, meaning they will now face the play-off route.
The game was officiated by a Romanian referee, Vlad Iordăchescu, who the Spanish players felt adjudicated them unfairly throughout the game.
The Spanish players, clearly aggrieved at the end of the game, confronted the Romanian official in what were ugly scenes, a video of which you can find below.
A Romanian referee for a game Romania needed Spain to lose in order to qualify automatically for the Rugby World Cup? That’s… unusual.
Belgium win 18-10. All kicking off at the end, Spain players not happy with the referee at all. pic.twitter.com/s1UctCA2De
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) March 18, 2018