Nigel Owens adds his own twist to the end of Champions Cup
SPOTLIGHT: This years Champions Cup final will be recognized as one of the best games ever played in the 25 years that this illustrious European tournament has run. However, it wasn’t without some of it’s own bizarre twists and turns!
For example the strange American-Football Esque type review right at the end which involved Nigel Owens just before Exeter was confirmed as 31-27 winners over French Club Racing.
The veteran Welsh ref who was taking charge of his seventh European final originally called time over after he had awarded a last minute penalty to Exeter with them being ahead 28-27 in the thrilling eight-try encounter.
Just before Exeter made their decision to kick for posts Owens was heard talking on his referee mic to his timekeeper in the stands, “Time out. Stop the clock. Take the clock back six seconds, take the clock back five seconds, please.
“There is too many people talking here. Take the clock back five seconds. I have taken the clock back five seconds. The time is 79:32.”
There was a short delay that followed for the arrival of the kicking tee to arrive for Joe Simmonds “Give them five seconds from now. It won’t make much difference now. Time is on,” said Owens. TMO Ian Davies was heard replying, “We’re trying to sort that out Nige, don’t worry.”
Simmonds, the 23 year old skipper of Exeter stepped up to take the final kick but suddenly there was more confusion on the halfway line with Racing lined up for a quick kick off believing they still had time remaining.
This had Owen interjecting himself into the game again. “Hang on, hang on. Time out. We need to be clear what has happened. Hang on. I’m going checking here now. The time keeper didn’t put it on for some reasons. Wait a minute. Captain please come here,” he said, calling over Racing’s Henry Chavancy.
“I’m going to check with TMO if the clock had gone 80 before the kick is over. If it was it is the end of the game. If it’s not we will be kicking off. Okay? Apologies for this. Right, TM, please confirm for me if time was up before the kick was over?
ID: “Okay Nigel, I will explain what happened. You asked for time to go on. We were working with the producers to get that clock turned on. They were unable to do so when you asked. Okay? However, when the ball crossed the posts it was around 79:57. Okay? The clock should have been in excess of 80 because the clock was not put on.
NO: “Okay, so you’re telling me… all I want to know is when the ball went over the posts was the time up, yes or no?
ID: “Technically, yes the time was up.”
NO: “I don’t want your technically. I need to now is the time up yes or no please when the ball went over the post.
ID: “The clock was on 79:57 when it went over.”
NO: “So, it’s not over then?”
ID: “I will repeat, when you asked for the clock to be put on we were unable to do so on the TV.”
NO: “Right, so the time is over, you’re telling me?”
ID: “Yes, the time is over.”
With that Owens turned to Racing to let them know he had just had “confirmation the time is over before the ball was over” the posts from Simmonds kick. This left him no choice but to blow full time on the game, confirming Exeter were now European Champions which left Racing licking their wounds once again as they done on three separate occasions in the last five cup finals.
Will @ExeterChiefs be the new driving force in European rugby?
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) October 17, 2020