Referee Gardner admits he got Farrell call wrong
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Australian referee Angus Gardner admits he was wrong not to give South Africa a penalty at the end of the match against England.
England beat South Africa 12-11 on November 3 at Twickenham, but there was drama right at the end when, with 80 minutes on the clock, Gardner consulted the television match official to see if flyhalf Owen Farrell had committed an illegal ‘no-arms’ tackle on Springbok replacement Andre Esterhuizen.
The Australian official could have awarded South Africa a penalty which, had it gone over, would have seen the visitors snatch victory in the opening match of their European tour.
But Gardner, despite World Rugby’s current crackdown on dangerous play, eventually decided against penalising Farrell’s challenge, even though it appeared the England co-captain was leading with his shoulder.
“I think in hindsight now, having discussed it with some other referees…I think the general consensus would be that a penalty was probably the outcome there that should have been given,” Gardner, crowned Referee of the Year at the World Ruby Awards, told the Will Greenwood podcast.
“I think we need to see a wrap with both arms, and I think in hindsight – although he got pinned – there wasn’t a big enough wrap from both arms, really. There was a wrap with one arm, but there wasn’t a wrap with the other arm.”
A bit late now. And the Farrell tackle was a very very poor decision. Why are the refs getting things so wrong? Very poor
— David Campese (@Davidcampese11) November 28, 2018
When asked why that had not been his opinion at the time, Gardner said: “The angles that I saw with the TMO, which were the head-on angles, showed a clear wrap of the front arm, but it was the back arm which got pinned.
“Of the angles that I was showed in the stadium at the time, that seemed to me to be enough of a wrap for me to constitute a legal tackle.
“It was never high and so all we were looking at was the tackle technique. The collision itself also kind of swayed my decision because it was a big rugby collision and we see these hits in the game.
“We don’t always get it right and we understand that there are going to be decisions that are going to heavily influence the game. At this level the expectation is that we do get it right – and that’s what we’re striving to achieve – but we don’t always.
“I suppose that’s the best way, just to be honest about it. If I made a mistake, I’ve got to put my hand up and say I was wrong, and hopefully if I see that again then I’ll know where I’m heading.”
Source: Sky News
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 25, 2018
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