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Nigel Owens Feels Ireland Had Decision Unfairly Go Their Way Against Italy

Nigel Owens Feels Ireland Had Decision Unfairly Go Their Way Against Italy
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland continued their 100 per cent start to the Six Nations with a bonus point victory over Italy last weekend, although it's fair to say that they did not have things all their own way in Rome.

It was a hard fought contest, one that was right in the balance up until the closing stages. Despite running in four tries in the opening half, Andy Farrell's side would only have a one-score lead heading into the final ten minutes.

The Italians will certainly be pleased with their performance, and while there was very little refereeing controversy in the game, the hosts were perhaps unlucky to have one decision go against them in the first half.

Nigel Owens says Ireland benefitted from referee decision in Italy

In the 29th minute, referee Mike Adamson awarded Ireland a penalty after he adjudged that Italy's Niccolo Cannone had unfairly obstructed Craig Casey as the scrum-half attempted to follow a ball kicked over the top of the opposition defence.

It seemed as though the Italian had narrowly avoided making contact with the face of the opponent, with many calling for a card at the time. In the end, the officials decided to just award the penalty.


You can watch the incident below.

Ireland would kick that penalty to the corner, launching a sustained attack on the Italian line that eventually led to a Mack Hansen try a few minutes later.

However, not all are convinced that even awarding a penalty was the right decision.

Speaking on the World Rugby YouTube channel, Nigel Owens said that Italy can feel a bit unfortunate to have a penalty given against them on this occasion.


The Cannone penalty, people are thinking it's a bit harsh and he did nothing wrong. Well did he? Lets have a look at it.

What Cannone does, Cannone just stands his ground. It's a case of the Irish scrum half running into Cannone, not Cannone making contact with the Irish 'nine'.

This penalty was a little bit harsh and shouldn't have been given.

It should have been play on with Cannone doing nothing wrong.

The penalty did seem harsh.


Some felt it was dangerous play at the time, Cannone could not have done much more after simply standing his ground as Casey made his way up the pitch.

While steps are being taken to remove dangerous play from the game, this incident didn't really fall into that category.

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