International Rugby, Springboks

Boks were “done in by ref” says writer

Former British rugby writer Mark Reason, now living in New Zealand writing for, believes the Springboks were hard done by by referee Nigel Owens in Saturday’s clash.

Owens came under peculation initially for for ignoring a call from the linesman saying that two Boks were offside in the final few intense minutes of the game, while he All Blacks were attacking the try line.

The New Zealand Herald published a column with the headline “How referee Nigel Owens’ missed call killed the All Blacks.”

However Reason, in writing for Stuff, believes it was the Springboks done in through refereeing on Saturday.

“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.”


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