Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Australian commentators slam referee Nigel Owens for inaction towards Scott Fardy

Leguizamón scored well into the second half in Perth
In Saturday´s round four Rugby Championship match in Perth Argentina went into halftime losing 14-3. The South Americans then kept the Wallabies scoreless in the secondhalf and lost the match 14-13. While neither Australia nor Argentina produced their best rugby there were also instances in which the referee, Welshman Nigel Owens left the visitors frustrated. The high penalty country against the Wallaby scrum did not see a player yellow carded nor did it see Argentina awarded a penalty try when the Australian scrum wheeled and crumbled in the 47th minute in what was a 5 metre scrum. 

Argentina persisted to eventualy score with Juan Manuel Leguizamón going over some fifteen minutes later. It put Argentina back in the match on the scoresheet but the South Americans had been well and truely dominating the match throughout the second half until the moment in which Leguizamón crossed. While the Australians were enabled to have a suffering scrum without suffering the usual consequences from the match official it was a first half incident which had most people talking. Wallaby back-rower Scott Fardy was severely criticized on social media for ruining a Pumas attack. The Australian committed a clear yellow card offense by turning over the ball in an utterly yellow cardable manner as Nicolás Sánchez was tackled five metres from the Wallaby posts.

Fardy was on the ground when he made the play which ended a potential Pumas try and a certain three points through a penalty. Owens was standing directly behind Sánchez when the play occured and the Pumas were outraged at the non-refereeing call from the Welshman. Also at fault were the broadcasters as the incident was not shown on replay during the match. The Australian commentators slammed the non-decision as they were sure Fardy had played the ball on the ground to illegally turnover what was a promising Pumas attack very close to the Wallaby tryline. Argentina got nothing from it as there was no yellow card nor penalty and Australia instead had a lineout. 

To their credit the Argentine players have not come out with criticism about the performance of the referee at all. Similarly, while there is reason for South Africans to be less than impressed with the red carding of Bismarck Du Plessis there have not been complaints comparable to those from South Africans to French referee Romain Poite. A facebook petition asking for the Frenchman to never again referee has over 60,000 members


  1. Paul, I have seen Nigel Owens referee three test matches (I'm sure he's reffed more but these are the ones I was aware he was the ref), Japan v Ireland in Tokyo (Live), South Africa v Samoa (RWC11) and now this game. He was well below international test referee quality in all three and quite frankly the quicker he is dropped from the test refree squad the better. To be honest when I saw he was going to ref this game I groaned!

    As you say, at least in Puma fans favour is that they have not vilified the ref to the extent rabid Springbok fans have done to both Bryce Lawrence and Roman Poite. Even AB fans never went to that level and indeed Wayne Barnes was able to come to NZ in 2011 without threats to his personal security unlike what is happening to the two refs who have fallen foul of Springbok fans.Also South Africa remains the country where a test referee has been physically assualted by a supporter running onto the pitch. Also there were outbreaks of fighting in the stands at South African super rugby games this year.

    Now as this site is a blog specifically centered around hosting the RWC, I think it's pertinent to note that security is an issue which needs to be looked at if South africa bids to be a RWC host as I think past and current events show their union and govt has some issues to resolve.

    Argentina is also under the spotlight with the laser incidents last year and I'm nervously hoping that it won't happen again otherwise there could very well be repercussions which would be tragic for Argentine rugby just because a few of its supporters let the side down. I hope the UAR is working closely with police to make sure security and the bringing into stadiums of stuff like lasers is policed and prevented as strictly as possible.

  2. Also to add to my prior post, the Australian commentators expressed that owens should've got a call from his assistant. They were absolutely right. Apart from Owens, Glen Jackson didn't impress me either, especially as for another indiscretion on full-time that the Pumas were wrongly penalised for, he could've helped Owens who was perhaps unsighted. This follows on from criticism of Jackson by Tana Umaga of his handling of an ITM Cup match recently as well.

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  3. al entrenador de los pumas le queda grande el puesto...

  4. al entrenador de los pumas le queda grande el puesto...