Spanish players angrily confront Romanian referee after Rugby World Cup qualification defeat

A brawl broke out following the World Cup Qualifier between Belgium and Spain in Brussels

A brawl broke out following the World Cup Qualifier between Belgium and Spain in Brussels

Romania qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup after Spain suffered a surprise 18-10 loss to Belgium on Sunday, March 18.

The appointment of Iordachescu was made by Rugby Europe, rather than governing body World Rugby, with reports suggesting that Spain had asked for the Romanian officials to be changed given the possible outcomes of the fixture in Brussels. The loss saw Romania qualify instead as they finished one log point ahead of Spain.

A scuffle breaks out between the Spanish and Belgian players, .

"As for other global major competitions, referees' appointments for Rugby Europe Championship have been made ahead of the competition by an independent and neutral skilled committee".

Spain's shock defeat by Belgium in the final round of European qualification matches means that Romania have qualified for next year's tournament.

The controversial appointment follows that of Marius van der Westhuizen, who was stood down from...

He then offered his apologies to the ref for his side's actions, adding: "I am captain and I apologise for the persecution of the referee".

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World Rugby told BBC Sport it would not comment on the match until it had received a full review, however vice-chairman Agustin Pichot posted on Twitter saying: "I'm going to watch the game and of course there will be an explanation". It must be understood however, we've lost part of our dream. "For sure, today rugby has lost".

"I want to play a solid opening game and seal that victory", Japan back Harumichi Tatekawa said Monday after returning from South Africa with Super Rugby's Sunwolves.

"Everyone who has seen the game will judge the referee".

Another penalty further bolstered the home side's lead in the 50th minute and Spain only came alive with 10 minutes remaining, forcing the only try of the game through Gautier Gibouin. Georgia already automatically qualified.

If they beat Portugal but lose to Samoa they will play in a four-team repechage in November in a last attempt to qualify for the competition.

Romania will slot into Pool A with Ireland, Scotland, Japan, and a yet-to-be-determined playoff victor.

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