Popular former referee Nigel Owens has waded into the big England versus Wales try debate and insisted Alex Dombrandt’s score should have been ruled out by referee Mike Adamson.
Owens revealed to The Telegraph: “You cannot obstruct an opponent from jumping at the lineout, and when you watch the footage back it looks like Itoje did that, before Dombrandt subsequently scored.
“Normally, if there was any doubt then the referee would refer to the television match official, and because that incident was a moment of foul play it is covered under the protocol of using the TMO.
“Even if the officials were not aware of the incident, the TMO would be watching everything in the truck and could intervene. I was surprised that didn’t happen, particularly when the Wales players were asking the referee to check for foul play. That would normally trigger a review.
He continued: “I was never one for wanting players to tell me to check something, and would tell them to not come chasing me for potential incidents to be reviewed.
“But if the captain or the player concerned did so in the correct manner regarding a particular moment, that would make me question whether they have a point and I would ask the TMO to have a look.
“If it had been checked, then the decision centres on whether Itoje obstructed Beard from jumping at the lineout. I would say Itoje probably did obstruct Beard, which means if it had been checked, I would have been pretty surprised if the try had stood.
“If you did not see the incident yourself as the referee, you would be hoping that your assistants and the TMO would intervene. The smile on Itoje’s face said everything, really!
“The reason people will be disappointed is because moments like that are why we have the technology in the game.
“I have seen the comments made by Pivac and he is right to be disappointed and to ask the question why it wasn’t checked.”
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Nigel Owens ranks his top 5 captains with Richie McCaw third
The popular referee selected his picks for Wales Online, but set out at the start that he wouldn’t be picking any Welshman in his selection.
“I am not going to include any Welsh players on my list because I haven’t refereed them in international matches.
“Anyway, these are my top Test skippers ranked, Welshmen aside.”
NIGEL OWENS: MY TOP 5 CAPTAINS
#5. Chris Robshaw (England)
Owens said: Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”