Nigel Owens has his say on Damian de Allende deliberate knock-on
South Africa centre Damian de Allende fell on the wrong side of the Law against the All Blacks on Saturday when he was penalised for a deliberate knock-on.
This has been widely discussed since then, as many people feel the Springbok was aiming at catching the ball rather than simply stifling the attack. After all, had he caught the ball he only would have had a matter of metres to run to the try line.
Well, Nigel Owens has given his verdict on the decision in World Rugby’s Whistle Watch this week. The refereeing centurion said that he can understand why de Allende was penalised, but has a lot of sympathy for him. This suggests there may be something wrong with the Laws themselves rather than the referees.
“Well if you love a bit of drama, there was plenty of it in the weekend matches,” Owens said.
“Now this is an interesting one on the deliberate knock-on that de Allende’s penalised for. I’ve always had a bee in my bonnet about these deliberate knock-on penalties, because the Law clearly says that you cannot deliberately knock the ball on, that’s what the Law says. If a player sticks his hand out, no attempt to catch the ball, just to try and stop the pass, and that goes forward, then that would be deemed to be a deliberate knock-on because you’re not trying to catch the ball.
“Now in this instance here it’s slightly different. I have a lot of sympathy for de Allende here because for me, he tries to catch the ball. So he’s not deliberately knocking it on, he’s not just sticking his hand up to prevent the pass, he’s trying to get the ball. So it’s one of those harsh ones in my view, but the way that referees are refereeing it, I can understand why a penalty was given.”