Rugby

Nigel Owens Believes Referee Got Major Decision Wrong In Second Lions Test

Nigel Owens Believes Referee Got Major Decision Wrong In Second Lions Test

Not for the first time during this series, most of the discussion after yesterday's second test between the Lions and South Africa revolved around the officiating.

It was a hot topic in the buildup to the game, with the South Africans believing they had been very harshly treated in the series opener. The roles were reversed yesterday, with the Lions being on the end of some very harsh decisions.

Lukhanyo Am's try in the second half was a highly controversial one, but you could also make a case that the hosts should have had a man sent off inside the opening ten minutes.

Cheslin Kolbe received a yellow card for tackling Conor Murray in the air, although you could certainly argue that the punishment should have been more severe.

Nigel Owens certainly thinks the winger got away lightly.

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Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, he said that the only thing that may have saved Kolbe was the fact that Murray attempted to break his fall with his leg.

You start at red and then you work down on mitigating circumstances.

The only circumstances are whether Biggar and Curry have shielded Murray and affected Kolbe's line of sight?

But they do not do that and there is no mitigation here - Kolbe has enough time to change what he is doing. The onus is on Kolbe to be aware of the man in the air...

It would have been a clear red depending on the landing - if Murray did not put his leg out and his arm out then he would have landed on his shoulder and his neck and that would have been a straight red. Kolbe is very lucky here.

I can understand where the yellow came from, but if I was reffing this then I would be thinking more red than yellow, because Murray's actions have saved Kolbe - and that should not be part of the equation.

It certainly seems that Kolbe got away with one here.

While the Lions did not deserve anything from yesterday's game, you'd imagine it would have been a very different affair had The Springboks been forced to play most of the contest with 14 men.

SEE ALSO: Lions Player Ratings As South Africa Level Series After Ill-Tempered Affair

Gary Connaughton

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