The eight key decisions of the France-Wales and TMO referee reviewed and the one they should have taken a closer look at

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The eight key decisions of the France-Wales and TMO referee reviewed and the one they should have taken a closer look at


It was a game filled with incidents in Paris as the Grand Slam slipped from Wales’ grip in the final game of a 32-30 loss to France.
The TMO has been called to action on several occasions and you could hardly have had more experience in this role, with Wayne Barnes on the video reference service.

He worked in tandem with referee Luke Pearce to rule on a series of critical moments in a thrilling Six Nations clash.

There were also other key decisions at crucial times that Pearce made on his own.

It’s fair to say that a lot has happened.

Here is the full detail of what exactly happened.

9 mins: Gareth Davies tries denied

From a rock-solid Welsh scrum just inside the 22 French, Louis Rees-Zammit hit a main line to slice between the French half-backs and unloaded at Gareth Davies on Antoine Dupont’s tackle.

Davies looked certain to score, but Charles Ollivon dove from behind, turning the scrum-half onto his back and running his hand under the ball.

It was a magnificent piece of defense for the French skipper.

Referee Luke Pearce’s direction to Wayne Barnes was: “On the pitch, no tries. I held it back at the end. I just want to make sure it hasn’t anchored it. ”

After looking at all angles, Barnes said: “On the video evidence we saw there is no clear basis, so stick with your decision on the pitch. ”

There was a suggestion that the bullet might have just grazed the grass at one point, but – as Barnes rightly said – the grounding wasn’t clear and as such you come back. to Pearce’s initial call.

49 mins: Josh Adams tries

Another example of decision making in the field, but with a very different result.

After a wonderfully weighted grubber kick by Justin Tipuric, Josh Adams hacked and took a pop pass over the bridge from Tomos Williams to cross the line as he was tackled by Julien Marchand and Brice Dulin.

It was obvious that there was a lot to watch, as the French made various protests, which prompted Pearce to say, “Everyone calm down for a second. ”

His decision on the pitch was to try, but there was a lot for Barnes to check – namely the actions of the Welsh wingers, a potential shock from Williams and the grounding of Adams.

One by one, the English official went through them.

“There’s no clear strike there, it’s out of his legs,” said Barnes, watching how Williams picked up the stray ball.

Then, on the grounding, he explained, “We have to look for conclusive and clear evidence that the ball is being held.

“It’s not clearly maintained throughout so I can’t overrule your decision on the pitch. ”

Pearce then summed up the situation by saying, “No obstruction, no shock, and no definitive evidence to show he was held up so I can award the try.” ”

Again, it was a desperately tight call, but the reruns seemed to hint at a brief turf flirtation and there was no cast-iron case to overturn Pearce’s verdict on the pitch.

58 minutes: Louis Rees-Zammit try refused and Mohammed Haouas yellow card

Now that’s the big one.

It’s not Rees-Zammit’s trial decision that’s the problem. It was the right call.

The young winger couldn’t have done much more, as he straddled Dupont’s tackle and managed to bring the ball down with one hand into the corner while he was in the air, his body off the playing field.

Pearce’s initial verdict was: “The decision on the pitch is a try. ”

But after repeated reruns you could see it wasn’t going to stay.

Barnes confirmed that, saying, “It’s anchored against the base of the flag, that means it’s a touch in the goal, that means not trying. ”

If anything, it looked like the ball actually cut the touch-in-goal line. But, anyway, excluding it was the right choice.



Louis Rees-Zammit dives into the corner to be denied his essay

Where the real debate comes from is in construction.

From an offensive line-up around 15 yards, Justin Tipuric jumped high to set up the maul, then a trio of attackers – Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi and Tomas Francis – broke up.

They were really rolling, with the Jones propeller in the van in the back.

There was only half fly Romain Ntamack between them and the line and a try seemed to go ahead. In other words, the 13th 8lbs Ntamack wasn’t stopping them!

But then, with the quick maul a few yards from the bleach, French tighthead Mohammed Haouas entered from the side and clung to Jones.

As a result, the cowardly Welsh was untied from the maul and led onto the bridge as other blue shirts swarmed around him.

Immediately Jonathan Davies said in the BBC comment: “It could be a penalty try. ”

With Pearce playing the advantage for what was a blatant attack from Haouas, the game continued, with Tomos Williams feeding Rees-Zammit for his acrobatic dive.

After Barnes’ correct verdict on the touchdown, Pearce summed up the streak of play by saying, “No, but the maul went the distance and speed, so No.3 is a yellow card. ”

Then turning to Welsh skipper Alun Wyn Jones, Pearce said: “I’m not convinced a try would have been scored. ”

So it was just a yellow card and a penalty, which the visitors entered.

Pearce didn’t go back and checked the replay of the Haouas incident with Barnes, and based his decision on what he saw in real time.

It’s always a matter of judgment on penalty attempts, as officials actually have to predict the future and decide what would have happened.

Pearce called it as he saw it and it’s now in the record books.

But, after watching it several times, I find it hard to see how an essay would have been avoided if Haouas had not intervened illegally.

It was a big, big moment in the game, as a penalty try would have extended Wales’ lead to 34-20.

Wayne Pivac himself said his team would have been tough to beat at this score.

64 min: Julien Marchand tries refused

This one was much simpler.

From a line-up, the French hooker Julien Marchand escapes, but is greeted by a red welcoming committee made up of Josh Adams, Tomos Williams and Taulupe Faletau.

He manages to cross the line, but Pearce is right on the spot and his decision is not a try, although he simply asks Barnes to verify there is no ground.

The TMO looks at the replays and says, “We have no ball angle on the ground, so stick to your decision on the pitch. ”

68 minutes: Brice Dulin test banned and Paul Willemse red card

There was nothing wrong with Dulin’s nice finish on the left, but it was what happened during the build that was going to become the big issue.

The check call came from Barnes, who told Pearce, “I’m about to show you a clear on the red that makes contact around the head area. ”

Initially, officials seem to be considering a penalty from French lock Paul Willemse and a withdrawal decision.

But as the incident is replayed from a succession of different angles and you see how Willemse’s hand comes in contact with Wyn Jones’ face, you can feel the gravity of the situation escalate.

Pearce said: “It’s a little worse than we initially thought, isn’t it? ”

The more they watch it, the more the penalty increases, as they go from penalty to yellow to red.

Pearce goes on to say, “This slow mo shows fingers around the eye area. ”

Barnes adds, “I agree with you. It’s not on purpose, but he has his fingers around his head and they’ve made contact with the eye area. ”

Coming to his verdict, Pearce concludes, “So we’re looking at a red, not a yellow, aren’t we? ”

Barnes replies: “We are.”

It was therefore a morning swim for the Montpellier lock.



Referee Luke Pearce issues red card to French lock Paul Willemse

French coach Fabien Galthie has made his feelings clear on the incident, accusing the Welsh players of sending Willemse off.

But the bottom line is this: You can’t come in contact with a player’s eye area, and you certainly can’t pull them out of a scrum while doing so.

It was a very cold red card.

71 minutes: yellow carton Taulupe Faletau

Despite being reduced to 14 men, France were throwing everything they had in Wales in a bid to cut the deficit by 30-20.

With increasing penalties, visitors under pressure were on one final warning.

So when Taulupe Faletau made contact with Antoine Dupont from an offside position during a ruck, there would only be one result, with Luke Pearce sending him to the trash.

73 minutes: yellow card from Liam Williams

You go through the entire championship without picking up a card of any color and then receive two in a matter of minutes!

As France thwarts a Welsh clearance kick, Liam Williams tackles substitute Arthur Vincent.

The Welsh full-back then gets back on his feet and dives above Vincent on his stomach to dispute the ball with Dupont.

Pearce explodes, declares “off your feet” and extracts the yellow card again.

Having had a one-man advantage minutes earlier, Wales are now 13 to 14 for France.

Come to think of it, Williams’ yellow could be considered a bit harsh.

Wales had just had a cumulative card with Faletau taking one for the team.

So for another yellow to be brandished at the next penalty was a bit of a surprise, as it didn’t seem like an obvious trash violation per se.

But that’s how the man in the middle saw it.

79 minutes: Wales penalized for completing

As the 79th minute approached, France were on the attack in search of the winning score, only for the replacement of pillar Uini Atonio to knock the ball over with Cory Hill picking it up.

Wales now just had to cut the clock and the Grand Slam was theirs.

That’s what they were looking to do, with Alun Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith and Leon Brown taking turns carrying the ball.

Then, just 60 seconds from the end, the Smith propeller moves forward halfway again, but in doing so, French No.8 Gregory Alldritt is backing up quickly, soaking up the contact.

Seeking to catch up with Smith, Hill in second place ends up floating on top of him and is penalized for buckling.

A few more runs and Wales would have been home and watered.

But there is always the danger of being made to buckle up when looking to cut time this way, with umpires watching the situation closely.

That’s what happened and the rest is a horrible story with France kicking to touch him, retaining possession and ultimately making their extra man count thanks to Brice Dulin’s match-winning try. .

With referee Pearce initially playing the advantage for Atonio’s kick, perhaps the best result would have been for Wales to knock the ball over themselves immediately to get the scrum set up and reduce the time this way, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

With Pearce saying the advantage was over with 80 seconds left, they then tried to see the time through a series of forward carries, but it wasn’t.

So close and yet so far. Such are the beautiful margins of sport.

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