The former international referee, Nigel Owens, reflected on the most important decision he had to make during a match. The historic referee who reached 100 test-matches delivering justice last November before retiring, recalled the 2019 World Cup, in particular, the red card to Tomás Lavanini against England.
“The most important decisions made are when a player has to be sent off, particularly when it is in a big game at a World Cup, for example, in 2019”, Owens explained, adding: “I had to get a red card from (Tomás) Lavanini of Argentina for a high tackle on Owen Farrell. Red cards are game-changing decisions because the team is left with 14 men. Although you can win with one less person, it is a bit more difficult. “
With Lavanini sent off in the first stage, Los Pumas lost to England 39-10 and were practically eliminated from the tournament in Tokyo in the group stage. Additionally, Owens described the Argentine team’s inability to legally defend the maul as one of the main reasons they were defeated 29-10 last Saturday against the Springboks in the Rugby Championship.
“Argentina has been quite penalized in the Rugby Championship for its indiscipline when defending, particularly in the mauls at the end of the game “, reasoned the Welshman and continued: “When tied in a maul, at least one arm must be tied to another player in the maul. If he is separated, he is no longer part of that formation and it means that, in the case of rejoining that maul, he must go back behind the last player in it. “
“Consequently, mauls are very, very difficult to defend and that is why you tend to see a lot of penalties that are given away. That is what happens with Argentina “, Owens explained.