O'Brien - "I was wrong"
October 17, 1999
Referee Paddy O'Brien has admitted that he made an error in the crucial Pool 3 game between France and Fiji on Saturday.
The New Zealand official denied Fiji a try in their 28-19 defeat that has consigned them to a quarter-final playoff against England.
Apart from the missed try he also gave France a penalty try that put them back in front - a decision that infuriated the Fijians.
"I felt we were robbed," Fiji's captain and hooker Greg Smith said. "Being in the front row I reckon I know a hell of a lot more about what's going on than the referee. It was the turning point of the match," he added.
Legendary All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick, a close friend of O'Brien, admitted he had a bad match.
Quizzed after the match O'Brien accepted he had blundered. "I lost the page," he told a group of French journalists.