Nigel Owens says how he would have dealt with Nic White theatrics
No nonsense refereeing legend Nigel Owens has given his take on the Nic White/ Faf de Klerk farrago at the weekend, and it is just what you would expect from him.
Writing for WalesOnline, the Welshman outlined what happened and then explained what he would have done in the situation in what is probably the most eagerly anticipated take on the entire debacle. Owens developed quite a reputation during his Test refereeing career of having zero tolerance for theatrics and chicanery, so it was expected that he would not look upon the Wallaby No9’s antics favourably.
For those that missed the incident, take a look at it here:
This is what he wrote: “In my view, it was a complete accident. I would have penalised it because he missed the ball and caught him in the face, but just a penalty, nothing more, because Faf is not trying to hit Nic White in the face, in my view.
“What you have then is White milking it all and trying to get Faf de Klerk sent off in some shape or form. He was trying to get him sanctioned by rolling around. To me, that goes against rugby values. Of all the big hits Nic White has taken, I don’t think that action by Faf would have caused that response to happen.
“What I would have done is your first offence is De Klerk getting it wrong, completely accidental, no intent, it’s a penalty. What you have then is a totally unacceptable reaction from Nic White and against the values of the game. So I would have reversed the penalty and penalised him for his actions. I would have said to him ‘You are not in the theatre, you are on the rugby field, where are your rugby values? You can’t behave like that.’
“Rugby can’t take the moral high ground and complain about footballers rolling around and pretending to be hurt because it does happen in rugby. It doesn’t happen often, but, as we saw in this game, rugby players can sometimes behave in not a rugby way. When it does happen, rugby tends to deal with it. Unfortunately in this instance, that didn’t happen. That was the disappointing thing for me. Nic White shouldn’t have got away with it and should have had a good stern talking to about rugby values, at least, even if the referee decided against penalising him.”