Nigel Owens' take on Bledisloe Cup controversy
REACTION: While the Australian media has gone into a total meltdown of the Bledisloe Cup controversy, there is another very balanced take on the saga.
We bring you the view of renowned and now retired referee Nigel Owens of the contentious call by French referee Mathieu Raynal to overturn a penalty awarded to Australian flyhalf Bernard Foley.
The Wallabies are adamant Raynal’s call cost them a certain win and a chance to reclaim the Bledisloe Cup that has been in All Black hands for 20 years.
The home team were on the verge of a stunning come-from-behind win, leading 37-34 in the final minute in Melbourne on Thursday when Foley was penalised.
Raynal reversed a penalty awarded to the Australians in the remaining seconds for time-wasting as Foley – in his first game for three years – delayed his kick, believing the clock was off.
But it was a monumental error, with the All Blacks instead awarded a scrum five metres out, and Jordie Barrett crossed in the corner for a sensational 39-37 win.
Owens has come out in defence of the Frenchman.
“As so many of you have been in touch to ask,” he said on his social media – about the dramatic finish to the Bledisloe Cup game in Melbourne this past Thursday.
“[It was] clear communication and warning to the player to get on with it.
“[It was] a fair and strong refereeing call my Raynal I feel.
“Learning here is not for the referee, but the players to get on with it when ref asks.”
* (Also see below, the absolute meltdown in the Aussie media Down Under!)
As so many of you have been in touch to ask. Clear communication and warning to the player to get on with it. A fair and strong refereeing call my Raynal I feel. Learning here is not for the referee, but the players to get on with it when ref asks. pic.twitter.com/oZQASsO93f
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) September 17, 2022