Referee Pascal Gauzere has admitted that he got it wrong after awarding two controversial tries for Wales against England in the Six Nations on Saturday.
Josh Adams and Liam Williams touched down in bizarre fashion in Cardiff as the hosts opened up a 17-6 advantage on Eddie Jones’ side.
Despite the visitors eventually levelling the match at 24-24, Wayne Pivac’s men would go on to claim a 40-24 triumph to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive.
Many believe that those early scores were crucial in the context of the game and World Rugby’s referees manager Joel Jutge told Midi Olympique that Gauzere has owned up to his mistakes.
“I think one has to be transparent, say what one thinks rather than let things fester,” Jutge said.
“In this game there were two unfortunate incidents, which were not simple to manage. I know from having spoken to him by phone on Sunday morning that Pascal Gauzere recognises that himself.”
With indiscipline costing England early on, Gauzere called over captain Owen Farrell and requested him to talk with his players and cut out the penalties.
In the process, Gauzere allowed Wales to take a quick penalty which caught England unaware, and allowed Biggar to place a cross-field kick into the arms of Josh Adams for a try.
“From the moment when the referee says ‘time on’ the game can recommence,” Jutge explained. “Except that it was on him [Gauzere] to make sure the English had had material time to reorganise themselves, because it was him who had asked the captain to speak to his players.”
England were frustrated over that call but were left particularly scratching their heads when Louis Rees-Zammit appeared to knock the ball on in the lead up to the second try for Williams.
Jutge added: “The ball was not under the control of the Welsh wing and went forward on to his thigh. In the laws such as they’re written, there isn’t this notion of loss of control, that’s why this situation lends itself to confusion.
“But the reality is that if [Gauzere] had blown up for a knock-on, no one would have been able to complain… it’s one of the perverse effects of the TMO, that we sometimes have a tendency to look too hard with a microscope. There is a balance to be struck and in this case, a simple bit of common sense would have sufficed.
“There is a loss of control, the ball goes forward, so it’s a knock on. Pascal looked at the situation on Sunday morning and he is the first to admit it. When you make a mistake, it’s best to own up and be transparent. It doesn’t change the fact that he is an excellent international referee.”