Samoa coach Steve Jackson 'bewildered' by referee decisions

Steve Jackson was not too pleased with the refereeing decisions during Samoa's loss to hosts Japan. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Samoa coach Steve Jackson said he was left bewildered by some of the refereeing decisions during his side's 38-19 loss to Japan in Pool A of the Rugby World Cup Saturday and called for more consistency from match officials.

Jackson had no qualms with a yellow card for flanker TJ Ioane, the fifth his side has received in three games, after his no-arms tackle in the first half but argued South African referee Jaco Peyper was less severe on Japan.

He was also angry to lose experienced Tim Nanai-Williams after the full-back failed a Head Injury Assessment in another first-half incident that went unpunished.

"I'm probably just as bewildered as most people," Jackson told reporters. "I agree TJ's [tackle] was late. But it was shoulder to the chest, then it is shoulder to the head [against Nanai-Williams] and we lose a player after the HIA.

"I don't take away anything from Japan, but our players deserve better than that.

"We need consistency from referees. You make a call at a scrum and the opposition does the same thing at the next scrum and they get away with it... I just scratch my head sometimes."

Samoa cannot now progress to the next round of the competition, but opponents Japan are on course to top the pool and Jackson was impressed with the hosts.

"Nothing surprised us with the way they played, we didn't get the rub of the green tonight but that should not take anything away from Japan.

"I'm just more disappointed for our players because we didn't deserve a lot of things happened on the field."

Samoa finish their tournament against Ireland in Fukuoka on Saturday and Jackson said they were determined to go home with a win against a top-ranked opponent.

"We've got nothing to lose now, have we? Playing against Ireland - again, what an opportunity for us to beat one of the top teams in the world.

"We'll throw everything at it. We'll rest and recover and have a good look at this game. We've got a week to prepare for Ireland. We're just going to go out there and enjoy it."