Nigel Owens returns to run the rule over some of the most contentious decisions in the past seven days — including Maro Itoje’s match-winning try and Ugo Monye’s ‘million dollar kick’.
Itoje was England’s match-winner against France at Twickenham last Saturday as his late score helped the hosts secure a narrow 23-20 Six Nations victory.
On episode six of his hilarious YouTube show, Whistle Watch, Owens breaks down the process that led TMO Joy Neville to advise referee Andrew Brace that he could award the try.
“What changed about three or four years ago was a referee had to make an on-field decision. So, even if the referee hadn't seen the incident he had to give some information to the TMO of what his on-field decision is,” he said.
“In this instance, Andy Brace doesn't actually have a clear view, hence why he gives the on-field decision of ‘no try’. He then goes up to Joy to double check it.
“Now, Joy then says that she can see the ball being grounded and that is enough then to go back to Andrew Brace and say: ‘We need to reverse the on-field decision and award a try’.”
Watch episode six of Whistle Watch above and be sure to check the official World Rugby YouTube channel every Wednesday for the latest instalment.
Owens also gives his verdict on potential foul play from Dan Biggar against Italy as well as Romain Poite’s exploratory refereeing style and Leicester Fainga’anuku’s outrageous finish for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Million dollar kick?
However, the Rugby World Cup 2015 final referee seems most concerned with potential skulduggery from former player turned pundit, Monye.
In last week’s episode of The Wrap, the ex-British and Irish Lions wing was challenged to land a 60-metre conversion by his old England team-mate, Ben Foden.
Monye duly celebrated knocking over the pressure kick — but in reality, did it come up short?
“Arguably one of the most contentious moments from last week was Ugo Monye's ‘million dollar kick’ on The Wrap,” Owens said.
“I’ve been called into the situation, of course, and so — TMO time.
“Well, there we have it. Good job I'm here too, it's always good to have a second opinion. Ugo, nice try though.”
Owens is also put on the spot by another round of questions from social media, although is in no doubt about what makes rugby such a globally-loved game.
“It is full of excitement,” he said. “It's a game for everybody, all shapes and sizes, its value of respect and ethos.
“And also, as well, you sometimes get some very funny moments in the game.”