Scotland’s head coach, Gregor Townsend, expressed his perplexity regarding the contentious last-minute decision that led to his team losing a potential Six Nations victory against France.
As the clock reached 80 minutes with Scotland trailing 16-20 at Murrayfield, Sam Skinner seemed to have scored a crucial try to secure a dramatic win for the hosts. Nevertheless, referee Nic Berry’s initial decision on the field was no try. Following extensive deliberations, TMO Brian MacNeice determined there was insufficient conclusive evidence to overturn the decision.
Replays indicated the ball touching the ground, and it appeared that the officials were inclined to validate the try before the abrupt conclusion.
Following the game, Formula 1 icon and proud Scotsman David Coulthard shared a photo on social media, highlighting an angle that strongly indicated Townsend’s team had faced considerable misfortune.
Coulthard humorously captioned the image, saying, “If it were any lower to the ground, I might have to enlist [Australian driver] Mark Webber to retrieve the ball!”
“We were celebrating in the coaches box,” said Scotland boss Townsend. “We could hear the TMO’s conversation with the referee, saying ‘the ball was on foot then the ball was down’ and then he changes his mind and says ‘stick with the on-field decision’.
“I don’t know what you can say. From a coaching perspective, you’ve got to win the game and not put it in the hands of TMOs and referees and that is what we will work on.
“We were in control of the game and in control most of the way in tough conditions. We had to play a different way and I’m really disappointed we didn’t win the game. We felt we won the game – we saw the ball on the try line.”
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“0/10” – Five players who flopped in the 2024 Six Nations today
Below, we look at five players who across the day who failed to perform for their respected nation.
FIVE PLAYERS WHO FLOPPED:
#1. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)
Rugby Dump 4/10: “Pretty anonymous throughout as he rarely got his hands on the ball. He did save a certain French try albeit in controversial circumstances as he appeared to go high but got away with it.”
Planet Rugby 5/10: “Like Rowe. the behemoth flyer did not see much of the ball but when he did, he kept France‘s defence busy. He eventually gained 18 attacking metres from five runs and was pretty anonymous on defence as he only made three tackles but missed two of those.”
Rugby 365 5.5/10: “Came off his left wing to make the extra man in the attack that led to White’s try, but didn’t have the ball in his hands enough from a Scottish point of view. Well shackled by the French defence, and made one excellent cover tackle to collar Fickou after the centre’s coruscating break.”