Lawrence Diallagio took aim at referee Ben O’Keeffe after the late penalty he awarded to South Africa proved to be the deciding factor.
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The scrum penalty after 78 minutes gave Pollard the chance to break England’s hearts and send South Africa into their fourth RWC final.
Dallaglio said on ITV: “I just think in the final analysis we couldn’t build scoreboard pressure. We had a couple of opportunities in the 22, one scrum, one line out that went missing.
“The bomb squad came on, four penalties given away in the last 10 minutes. I’ve got to say, not as a sore loser but independently, that’s a questionable penalty that wins the game.
“Ellis Genge goes down on one knee. Ben O’Keeffe is going to be the talking point because he’s won them the game, rather than South Africa.
“So I think England can feel heartbroken but South Africa deserved because, a bit like France, the quality in depth on the bench was enough to get them over the line.”
Maggie Alphonsi, a former England flanker, held a contrasting viewpoint to Dallaglio, expressing her support for O’Keeffe’s decision. She also commended South Africa’s unwavering determination.
She said: “It’s hard, I’m listening to Lawrence but I have to say I thought it was a penalty. It’s really difficult because of the big before that really.
“England took the punches and at no point did they look like they were going to score in that last bit. South Africa for me, talk about being resilient and showing the character, they did that against France.
“It was the same situation in the sense they really had their backs against the wall and they knew how to close out that game. They went back to that emotional mentality and that’s what got them through this game.”
One fan wrote: “Dallaglio blaming the ref…….no class.”
Another commented: “Dallaglio, you big lovely bastard. Greetin about a scrum penalty that was a penalty. No, like England not to get any dodgy decision, eh?”
A third said: “Dallaglio blaming the ref already but Maggie steps up saying he was wrong – good on you .”
“Get Dallaglio off – utter bias tripe consistently! Rounded off with comments then given to Douglas. Terrible.” wrote a fourth.
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“Cost them the game” – Four players who underperformed for England in semi-final
We take at four players who weren’t able to deliver their best performances as England fell to a narrow defeat to South Africa in the World Cup semi-final.
#1. Manu Tuilagi
Telegraph 6/10: “Barely used as an attacking weapon but filled his role in keeping the Springbok midfield honest. One silly penalty for grabbing Reinach nearly proved costly.”
Planet Rugby 6/10: ” Made some decent hits in midfield but we understandably didn’t see much of him with ball in hand.”