'There is a penalty'- Nigel Owens on the decision that changed the Six Nations
By Rugby Onslaught

‘There is a penalty’- Nigel Owens on the decision that changed the Six Nations

While Italy should not be excused for butchering a series of tries in the first half against Wales on Saturday in Rome, the team and coach Kieran Crowley might be justified in feeling pretty hard done by.

Crowley gave an impassioned post match interview about some of the decisions during the match, chiefly the fact that Owen Williams was not penalised for being offside when preventing Juan Ignacio Brex from scoring in the first half. It was a complete hash of a try attempt, but nevertheless did look a bit suspect.

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Now refereeing legend Nigel Owens has weighed in on the decision, and it is hard to know if it is the news Italians did or didn’t want to hear. Italy were trailing 15-3 at that time, but a try, and even a yellow card, would have put them right back into the match. Instead, Wales actually went down the other end and scored soon after, with Lorenzo Cannone being yellow carded. It was a crucial few minutes in Wales’ 29-17 win, and probably decide who will get the Wooden Spoon in this year’s Championship.

“Should Owen Williams have been penalised for being offside tackling and then a probable or possible penalty try?” Owens said.

“Well, a lot of people are getting confused here. When a tackle takes place now, there is an offside line, which means players arriving must arrive from their own side, from their own ball side. So if the ball was still in the tackle area, Williams has to retreat and come in from his own side. Because the ball was deemed to be in the tackle area, it means he was offside making the tackle.”

The Welshman was reluctant to give his opinion on what the punishment should have been though, saying: “So, there is an offence, there is a penalty, the next question is: if he hadn’t done that, would Italy have probably scored? And if they would have probably scored, then it becomes a penalty try and a yellow card. But even if there was no penalty try, it still could have meant that Williams was given a yellow card if the referee felt that the actions were cynical.”

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