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England Will Not Make Official Complaint Over Referee's Display Against Wales

England Will Not Make Official Complaint Over Referee's Display Against Wales

Sunday, 28 February, 2021 - 13:00
Referee Pascal Gaüzère talks to Owen Farrell during England’s controversial defeat to Wales. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

England have reportedly opted against making an official complaint to World Rugby over the performance of Pascal Gaüzère in Saturday’s 40-24 defeat by Wales.

Gauzere awarded Wayne Pivac’s grand slam hopefuls two dubious tries in the opening half-hour of the Six Nations clash at the Principality Stadium, the first of which was particularly controversial.

The former England captain Martin Johnson described the French official’s decision to allow Josh Adams’ 17th-minute try as “appalling refereeing”, while even the former Wales skipper Sam Warburton admitted Eddie Jones’ team were right to be “livid”.

Gaüzère instructed the England captain, Owen Farrell, to address his team over their indiscipline only to quickly restart play, allowing Dan Biggar to hoist a crossfield kick for Adams to score.

England wings Jonny May and Anthony Watson had moved infield to hear Farrell speak and there were a number of water-carriers on the pitch when Gaüzère blew his whistle.

“They’re huge decisions. We can’t debate it, we are not allowed to debate it. All I will end up with is a fine and that wont help anyone,” Jones said after the game.

“They get points maybe they don’t deserve and we have to fight to get back into the game. It makes it difficult and you have to be good enough to overcome it.”

“Whenever you get beaten and bettered by a penalty, then discipline is an issue,” the England head coach added. “But there were bigger issues in the game than that, and I will let you discuss them.”

There are also question marks over whether Liam Williams’ 30th-minute try was legitimate because of a likely knock-on by Louis Rees-Zammit during the build-up. Victory for Wales secured the triple crown and set up a likely title decider against France in Paris on 20 March.

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