Internationally respected referee Nigel Owens has been absolutely laid into by Australian commentators after controversially disallowing a try for Australia at a crucial stage of their Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand.
Owens was the man in the middle for the clash, which finished 37-10 to New Zealand but would have been tied at the time had the try from Aussie back Henry Speight been allowed. It was ruled out because Speight's team-mate Dane Haylett-Petty was adjudged by the TMO to have obstructed New Zealand's Julian Savea, thus preventing him from potentially making a try-saving tackle.
Former Australia international Rod Kafer was calling the shots for FOX Sports and he wasn't a happy bunny after the decision was made. Owens bore the brunt of his strong criticisms, Kafer saying that the Eden Park crowd had swayed the Welshman in his decision-making:
He’s been done by the crowd here, Nigel Owens. That’s shoulder to shoulder, he’s behind the ball, there’s no such thing as an obstruction.
Nigel Owens should never referee a Test match again, that is disgraceful.
He’s behind the ball, he can run where he likes. It was a crucial decision that absolutely changed the course of this Test match.
Australia boss Michael Cheika wasn't too happy at the time of Owens' call and in his post-match interview said he had "never seen shepherding from behind before". He expressed curiosity as to whether "World Rugby (would) come out with an announcement or anything like that".
There was generally negative reaction on social media to the try not being allowed - especially, but not exclusively, in Oz.
Appalling performance from @Nigelrefowens tonight. Making sure the All Blacks get over the line.
— Leo Shanahan (@_leo_s) October 22, 2016
Terrible decision by Nigel Owens! #NZLvAUS
— Kevin McLaughlin (@KMcLaughlin6) October 22, 2016
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