Samoan leader blasts ‘biased’ ref for Sevens loss

Samoa’s deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni has launched a stinging attack on the referee of the IRB rugby sevens tournament final in which New Zealand beat Samoa 22-17 at the weekend.


Misa on Sunday accused Welsh referee James Jones of “bias” after a disputed penalty against Samoa on full-time led to New Zealand wing Victor Vito scoring the match-winning try.


“Those of us watching the finals felt that the referee was showing a bias that would have broken the spirit of a lesser team,” Misa wrote in an open letter to the Samoa Observer newspaper.


“I will not get into the technical defects that revealed the referee’s obvious bias, but it was amazing how he expressed his clear delight by throwing his leg in a victory juggle after the Kiwis scored the winning try.”


Misa said Jones had a black shirt — New Zealand’s colour — under his white referee’s tunic and after the final whistle he “proceeded to join in the celebration by hugging all the Kiwi players.”


New Zealand rugby administrators “should be ashamed at this obvious display of bias,” the Samoan deputy leader said.


“It renders the game a disservice, and does nothing to promote the Sevens game.”


Misa was not impressed with the 35,000 predominantly New Zealand supporters who packed Wellington’s Westpac Stadium for the final, accusing them of being “a drunken Kiwi rabble”.


However, he tipped his hat to the star of the tournament, New Zealand wing Vito, who is of Samoan descent.


“In the end, it took a Samoan superstar of the future, Victor Vito, to provide the power that helped secure a Kiwi victory.”


Sapa-AFP Rugbyweek.com  

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