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10th Nov 2018

Clive Woodward explains what referee could have done to clear up offside confusion

Jack O'Toole

England World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward said that referee Jerome Garces should have made it clear that the ball was out before TJ Perenara’s late box kick was charged down by England second-row Courtney Lawes

The Northampton Saints lock charged down Perenara’s kick but was ultimately ruled to have been offside after flanker Sam Underhill scooped up the rebound before crossing for a late English try.

New Zealand held on to seal a 16-15 win after Underhill’s try had been crossed off and Woodward said that the decision to penalise Lawes was a ’50/50′ call.

“You need the referee to shout the ball is out,” said Woodward on Sky Sports post-match show.

“If the referee shouts ball is out then he’s offside. If he hasn’t shouted that well then he’s not actually refereed the game properly.”

Fellow analyst and former New Zealand Rugby World Cup winning captain Sean Fitzpatrick argued that the offside line disappeared from the moment Perenara played the ball rather than touched it but nevertheless it’s a sickening way for England to lose after leading by as much as 15 points in the first-half.

The win extends the All Blacks winning streak in Europe to 20 consecutive games as they now prepare to head to Dublin next weekend to face Ireland.