The thing about James Lowe’s ‘try’ that no one is talking about
By now pretty much everyone has seen watched and discussed the big talking points from Ireland’s win over France in the Guinness Six Nations and almost everybody has come to the same conclusion. Was James Lowe’s foot in touch for his try? Yes. Should the now banned Uini Atonio have been red carded? Yes.
One thing that far fewer people are highlighting in the wake of the 32-19 win is whether Damian Penaud’s tackle on Lowe to prevent him scoring a try was legal or not. While the try was awarded, Penaud was actually successful in preventing the try in a just world, but he did it with what some think was a no arms tackle.
Take a look:
Let’s take another look at this INCREDIBLE finish from James Lowe!
The best finish you’ve seen? #GuinnessSixNations | #ITVRugby pic.twitter.com/D2z5FPEp8o
— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) February 11, 2023
Former Test referee Nigel Owens discussed this tackle on World Rugby’s Whistle Watch this week, saying:
“Lowe’s try, foot in touch? And an illegal tackle or not? Well it’s very difficult to answer whether it was an illegal tackle or not because when you look at the tackle that the winger is trying to make, what he is trying to do is try and get underneath the player because what he wants to do now is get that player up and out of the way into touch, preventing him from going over for the try. So it’s a very difficult one. Some may argue that there was a shoulder charge, others say his arm was down because he wanted to get underneath him. So, you can understand the view on that. That is a very grey debatable area.
“But what is not debatable is whether his foot was in touch. Yes it was. The foot touches the ground before the ball is grounded. Now, what the officials might not have seen at the time is all the angles to show this. But the clear answer is his foot was in touch and the try should have been disallowed.”