Owens has his say on crucial Bledisloe Cup call

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Raynal's decision was still a hot topic in Australian media over the weekend. He reversed a penalty awarded to Australia in the dying moments of the Test when first five-eighths Bernard Foley took too long to kick the ball and awarded the All Blacks a scrum from which they scored the match-winning try.

 

Rugby Australia is reported to have written to World Rugby on the matter and has raised other refereeing concerns in the game.

 

But support for Raynal has come from World Cup finals referee Nigel Owens.

 

Fans and media besieged Owens for his view of what happened, and he responded on Twitter.

 

"As so many of you have been in touch to ask.

 

"Clear communication and warning to the player to get on with it.

"A fair and strong refereeing call [by] Raynal I feel. Learning [Lesson] here is not for the referee, but the players to get on with it when ref asks."

 

He added later: "I don't think there can be much argument when you listen to the audio posted on it.

 

"It's pretty clear to me.

 

"Other referees may well have ignored this, but to me, that would not be doing your job as a referee.

 

"Players now should all be aware and not delay or waste time."

 

In other reported comments, Owens said, "Sometimes, the unpopular decisions are the correct decisions.

 

"He's clearly given warning, there's a lot of time gone, the rest of the backline is shouting at Bernard to get the ball off the field.

 

"The easy thing for a referee to do here, which others may well have done, would be to ignore the time-wasting and let him kick it out 35 seconds after the penalty is given and do nothing about it.

 

"No-one would have had a go at the referee. So he's actually made a strong refereeing decision."

 

But, Owens said, he would have taken a different approach as he once did in a European Champions Cup match where he added time when a team attempted to slow the game down.

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