“I just want the same rules for both teams": O'Shea fuming after no-try call

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Italy coach Conor O’Shea says he just wants “the same rules for everyone” after a controversial disallowed try in his side’s loss to the Wallabies left him fuming.

The Italians had two tries disallowed in the first 15 minutes of the defeat when they had the Wallabies under pressure, with no. 8 Abraham Steyn pushed into touch and then halfback Tito Tebaldi ruled offside.

It was the Tebaldi call that had the crowd and O’Shea frustrated post-match, with the halfback ruled to be outside of the 15m line before the lineout was thrown, putting him in an offside spot.

That decision was not referred to the TMO, with referee Pascal Gauzere making the call and taking play back before moving on.

O’Shea told broadcasters post-match that he was “angry” about the decision and though he was more particular with what he said in the post-match press conference, his frustrating was still clear.

“You have to be very careful at choosing your words  because my wife would be pretty annoyed if I got fined,” he said.

“We don't have that sort of money leading into Christmas."

O’Shea went on to recall another call by Pascal Gauzere in his side’s close defeat to Scotland in the Six Nations and said he was bewildered at the process in Padova.

Speaking more generally, O’Shea said he wanted to see more consistency across the board.

“I just want the same rules for both teams and I can't remember the score in the Six Nations game (against Scotland) when the TMO and Pascal couldn't decide on a try that would've put it out of reach.

“Today they didn’t  go to the TMO and it's a try.

“It doesn't change the result, I think Cheiks would say the same thing. We just want consistency, we want consistency at the breakdown, so it's not one rule for one and another for another.

“The players are pretty destroyed but for the life of me why you don't go upstairs when it's there is just beyond belief. It is beyond belief.”

Despite his emotion, O'Shea had plenty of praise for his team's efforts against a tough Wallabies side.

“At the end of it, we have to come back and look at what we control. We don't control the ref, we control ourselves,” he said.

“We had the precision and patience and we had lots of opportunities, positive, against an outstanding, focused Australian team who were incredibly physical.

“We went toe to toe and if we keep that level of performance we are going to start growing and growing and growing.”

“There's kind of a weight off our shoulders after last week, we know what we can do but to get to the highest level we have to create habits. And the habits is that sort of attitude every week.

Cheika stayed well out of the debate when asked if he agreed with O’Shea’s views post-match.

“I’m going to say something right now, I’m not going to talk about the referees because when we lose and I say something about the referees, I get my head ripped off. So when we win I’m not gonna say nothin’,” he said.

“I’m going to sit here and enjoy it.

“Wow. I’d be in the outhouse if I pulled that one out after the game I’ll tell you now.

“It’s hard for me to talk about that stuff because I’ve had my moments where I’ve said things I didn’t want to say because of the emotion of the day.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes.”