Referee Mathieu Raynal has come under fire for comically yellow carding the wrong Wales player and missing what seemed an obvious eye gouge.
In an intriguing twist, Raynal’s misidentification of Rowlands as ‘Number 20’, the intended recipient of the yellow card, added a layer of confusion. He initially directed his finger at Niniashvili, to which Rowlands promptly responded, “You’re the two instigators at the beginning, so that’s unacceptable what we saw, yeah? So you go on the bench, guys.”
Rowlands, appearing somewhat perplexed, glanced left and right before asking, “Me?” and gesturing toward himself. It was only after a subsequent clarification with Raynal that he confirmed he was not, in fact, number 20. This unusual episode concluded with Taine Basham exiting the field.
One fan wrote: “Raynal showing a yellow card to the wrong player is a perfect description of his performance today.”
Another said: “Comical moment where ref mixes up Will Rowlands with Basham. Embarrassing.”
“Planning a remake of Inspector Clousoe starring Matthieu Raynal and his yellow cards.” tweeted another.
Nevertheless, on social media, images from the altercation were shared, and Basham’s response might have been influenced by what seemed like contact with the eye region by a Georgian player.
The 30 best rugby players in the world have been ranked, Owen Farrell 29th
#30. Dan Sheehan (Ireland)
A rising Irish hooker known for his powerful scrummaging and dynamic play in open field. Sheehan’s agility and tackling prowess make him a vital asset in set pieces and loose play alike, hinting at a promising future in international rugby
#29. Owen Farrell (England)
England’s steadfast captain and fly-half, Farrell’s tactical brilliance and accurate kicking guide his team’s gameplay. Renowned for his leadership, his defensive grit and ability to control the game’s pace make him a linchpin in England’s rugby strategy.
Wales Online wrote: “The 31-year-old has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons recently but is a player you’d rather play with than against. Farrell is a natural leader of men, and will play a crucial role if England are to drag themselves out of the rut they find themselves in.”
#28. Thibaud Flament (France)
A versatile lock for France, Flament’s towering presence in the lineout and ferocious work rate define his style. With his strong carrying and breakdown skills, he is a force to be reckoned with in both set-piece dominance and open-field encounters.
#27. Shannon Frizell (New Zealand)
Frizzell’s imposing physique and aggressive ball-carrying mark him as a formidable All Black flanker. His offloading ability, coupled with his defensive prowess, cements his position as a player who consistently makes his presence felt on the field.
#26. Steven Kitshoff (South Africa)
An anchor of the Springboks’ scrum, Kitshoff’s experience and technical expertise are unmatched. His exceptional work rate and relentless tackling contribute to his reputation as a reliable front-row stalwart, key to South Africa’s forward dominance.