Rugby

English Media Rage Against England's 'Robbery' At Hands Of All Blacks

English Media Rage Against England's 'Robbery' At Hands Of All Blacks

Suffering a disastrous Six Nations, subsequently followed by a test series defeat in South Africa, England's year very nearly finished on the highest note possible.

Although international tests against Japan and Australia are yet to come, Eddie Jones will be aware of the profound effect a win against the All Blacks would have had.

Losing 16-15 at Twickenham, a late consultation between referee Jerome Garces and his TMO ruled that Courtney Lawes had moved into an offside position before instigating what would surely have been a match-winning try for England.

After the initial celebrations died away, and Garces announced that Sam Underhill's try would not count, New Zealand ruthlessly saw out the remaining few minutes and turned their attentions toward Ireland.

In his post-match comments, head coach Eddie Jones remained largely sanguine about the whole incident, content that his side had continued their strong showing from last weekend's second-half performance against the Springboks.

This was not quite the case among certain English news publications.

Stephen Jones of The Telegraph was firmly of the opinion that the home side had been rightly condemned by a poor decision by the TMO.

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In any match that they lose, New Zealand tend to complain about refereeing decisions for decades afterwards. If England apply those same standards to yesterday afternoon then they will be bitter to the end of time.

Jerome Garces, the referee, awarded the try and Twickenham celebrated wildly what would have been a thoroughly deserved victory. But then Marius Jonker, the TMO, attracted the referee’s attention and the incident went upstairs. It was clear from the replay that Lawes had dropped in towards the ruck and kept his position and as soon as Perenara lifts the ball off the ground, the defence can go.

It was simply unbelievable that Jonker, in concert with the referee, found something that was “clear and obvious” that the referee got wrong in his original decision.

Furthermore, Jones was at pains to point out "that rear feet offside is something ignored by officials the world over and indeed, as England attacked desperately in the last few minutes and carried the ball through phases, the All Blacks were offside in six consecutive phases and by a big margin."

The Daily Mail's Chris Foy, describing a "controversial" New Zealand win against a "patched-up" England, couldn't but help draw a likeness between the nature of the home side's defeat and the surrounding ceremonial markings of this Remembrance weekend.

"It meant England were left to accept another so-near-but-so-far tale of thwarted heroism – such a familiar script in this particular fixture."

Johnny Fordham of The Sun was a little less nuanced in his assessment of the "robbery" England had been the victim of.

"England's hearts were broken as they were robbed of a famous All Blacks victory," Fordham wrote of what he described as 'one of the games of the century.'

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"French ref Jerome Garces and Springbok video ref Marius Jonker cruelly reversed a sensational Sam Underhill score that looked to have won it."

Jack de Menezes of the Independent was quick to draw likeness between last weekend's controversial decision that went in England's favour.

In light of that, he was perhaps a bit more forgiving regarding the call.

England would not give in though, and with time running out, it looked like they’d won it. Replacement Courtney Lawes used every part of his six foot seven inch frame to charge down TJ Perenara, and with Underhill gathering and outsmarting Barrett to go over in the corner, the stadium erupted in delirium. Garces awarded the try, only to then decide to check if Lawes was onside, and unable to decide himself he left the decision to Jonker. “Offside” came the call, the decision was overturned and New Zealand were left to celebrate knowing how much of an escape this was.

Mick Cleary of The Telegraph was not feeling quite as magnanimous however.

"The call went against Courtney Lawes for offside as he blocked a kick by TJ Perenara on the 10-metre line," Cleary explained.

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"At best, it looked a tight decision, too tight for the circumstances, and England had every right to feel aggrieved. The attacking team should surely have the benefit of any doubt.

"World Rugby had issued a directive only two days earlier instructing the referee to take the initiative on big decisions and use the TMO for guidance.

"Jerome Garces abrogated that responsibility. Matches should not be decided like this, on marginal interpretations. It was a gaffe."

Jonathan Kaplan of the same publication was equally certain that a mistake had been made, yet, according to All-Blacks coach Steven Hansen anyway, Garces and his TMO came to the correct call.

If you've not seen the incident from yesterday's tie between England and New Zealand, you can watch it here

See Also: Irish Fans Devastated As Sean O'Brien Suffers Broken Arm Against Pumas

Arthur James O'Dea

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