Owens 'should never ref a Test again'

Nigel Owens (Gallo Images)
Nigel Owens (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Legendary former Wallaby Michael Lynagh labelled the decision to rule out Henry Speight's try "an absolute joke" as the fallout continued from the final Bledisloe rugby Test.

According to the Stuff website, Lynagh vented on Twitter while another former Wallaby and commentator Rod Kafer said Nigel Owens should never referee a Test again after he and TMO Shaun Veldsman agreed Julian Savea was impeded by Dane Haylett-Petty in the lead-up.

"That decision was an absolute joke. Wrong. A game changer," Lynagh tweeted.

Owens awarded the try when it seemed Speight would never be caught by Savea even if Haylett-Petty hadn't changed his line and got in the way. The try had drawn the Wallabies level 15-15 with the All Blacks early in the second half.

The Sydney Morning Herald's headline read: "Wallabies left seething as disallowed try mars All Blacks' world record win".

"It left coach Michael Cheika absolutely livid in his coach's box, those Australians on the field dumbfounded, and a string of former players venting their anger," the Herald's report said.

"While on commentary duties, Kafer went so far as to say Nigel Owens should never referee a Test again."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was clearly fuming on camera after the decision was made, and said after the game: "Obviously I can't say anything because they've got you by the throat. I've just never seen shepherding from behind before."

At the other end Savea quickly replied for his 44th Test try to put the All Blacks ahead 22-10. 

The Herald pointed out the Australians could have argued Scott Sio was tripped - most likely accidentally - by Aaron Cruden in the process, "but Cruden cleverly took a quick conversion to thwart any chance of the incident going to the TMO."

The Daily Telegraph also raised the TMO inconsistency in the Speight and Savea decisions and praised the Wallabies for a much improved effort.

"The Wallabies produced their best performance of the year and still lost by 27 points," Jamie Pandaram wrote.

"Such is the excellence of this All Blacks team, which now holds the world record for most successive Test wins be bringing up their 18th in a row with the 37-10 win in Auckland.

"Australia remain winless against New Zealand at Eden Park since 1986, and while the scoreline suggests there is a four-try difference between the sides it was a far more hard-fought encounter."

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