Cape Town - A renowned New Zealand writer says the Springboks were “done in” by Welsh referee Nigel Owens during last Saturday’s Rugby Championship encounter against the All Blacks in Wellington.
After South Africa’s upset win, the New Zealand Herald published a story with a headline: How referee Nigel Owens' missed call killed the All Blacks.
The publication stated that Owens did not react when advised by an assistant referee in the dying minutes of the game that two Springboks were offside in front of the posts.
However, Mark Reason, a columnist for the Stuff.co.nz website, says the Springboks are the ones who have reason to complain about the referee.
“South Africa were absolutely done in by Nigel Owens. The All Blacks scored a first half try preceded by a colossal Lienert-Brown knock-on. And Owens gave the All Blacks seven consecutive second half penalties in the space of 22 minutes, half of which were absurd,” Reason wrote.
“He gave (Willie) Le Roux a yellow card extremely harshly. He was offside, but since when can't you dive to make a tackle. But the most ridiculous moment was when South Africa regained possession on their line and Owens blew his whistle. Owens had made no prior ruling. He was giving the All Blacks a chance to win phase possession. But when it went the other way, Owens made a retrospective ruling.
“This was referee not ruling on what he saw, but playing God. We have seen it twice before from Owens and it is completely unacceptable. He should be warned for it. Happily for South Africa, Owens did not deny them a deserved victory, he just narrowed the margin.”
READ Mark Reason’s full column on the Stuff.co.nz website