England have begun the Autumn internationals with a narrow 12-11 win over South Africa at Twickenham. However, with the clock a few minutes in the red, a late tackled from England's Owen Farrell was contentiously judged to have been fair.
Appearing to lead with the shoulder and demonstrating no clear attempt to wrap his arms around the South African runner, a consolation with the TMO somehow left the match referee confident that the tackle was fair.
You can come to your own decision.
Needless to say, not many of those watching today's tie were necessarily convinced the referee had reached the correct conclusion.
What's Farrell doing there?
— Paul Williams (@thepaulwilliams) November 3, 2018
That Farrell decision is one of the all-time bottle jobs that I can remember in sport. #ENGvSA
— Peter O' Dwyer (@peterodwyer1) November 3, 2018
If you want to see the perfect definition of a referee bottling out of a contentious game-changing decision, have a look at the ref not penalising Owen Farrell in injury time v the Boks. Utterly ridiculous decision, particularly in current climate of protecting players. #ENGvRSA
— Gavin Newlands MP 🏴🇺🇦 (@GavNewlandsSNP) November 3, 2018
Great win for England, but Farrell is a lucky, lucky boy. #ENGvRSA
— Matt Cotton (@FindingCotton) November 3, 2018
How was that a legal tackle 😂🙈 Seriously ? Even Farrell knew he cocked up laying on the floor 😡 shocking call
— Robin John Peterson (@robbie13flair) November 3, 2018
What an ending to this England-South Africa game. How was that not a penalty against Farrell?!
— Eoin McDevitt (@EoinMcDevitt) November 3, 2018
Shocking tackle from Farrell there
— Joseph Murphy (@joemurph0706) November 3, 2018
How the hell did Farrell get away with that tackle? Can someone explain?
— Johnny Penman (@Gadgeagoogoo) November 3, 2018
Lucky boy. #farrell
— Nick Rayment ⚫️ (@NickRayment) November 3, 2018
Yellow card for me on Farrell..
— Chris Egerton (@EgertonSport) November 3, 2018
That’s a terrible call on Farrell. It’s a shoulder all day long and a penalty for South Africa
— liam (@liamjdbutler) November 3, 2018
Don’t know how Farrell got away with that. Clear shoulder, no attempted tackle for me but the ref fooled by the late arms. #ENGvRSA
— Up The Mighty Reds (@Julian_Lee76) November 3, 2018
Speaking post-match, co-captain Dylan Hartley believed it was 'never in doubt,' and his fellow co-captain Farrell had merely put in a 'good physical tackle.'
Trailing 6-8 at the half-way mark, England were a touch fortuitous to be even that close to the dominant Springboks.
After a much more impressive second-half display, it was Farrell who kicked the winning penalty that may allow Eddie Jones and England salvage a modicum of satisfaction from 2018.