Six Nations referee admits to errors during England's loss to Wales
"Pascal was the first to admit to this when he re-watched the match on Sunday"
French referee Pascal Gauzere has admitted he made two mistakes in his officiating on Wales' Six Nations clash with England on Saturday.
Gauzere invoked the ire of English supporters with two big calls in the first half that both resulted in Welsh tries. Wales went on to win the game 40-24 and stay on course for a Grand Slam.
Gauzere's first moment of high controversy arrived after 16 minutes when he first ordered England captain Owen Farrell to address his players on their discipline, only to call 'Time On' and allow Wales outhalf Dan Biggar to take a quick penalty, which he kicked cross-field for Josh Adams to score.
He waved away the protests of England captain Owen Farrell. He caused more consternation in the ranks of the 2020 Six Nations champions when he and his Television Match Official decided Louis Rees-Zammit had not knocked on in the lead-up to Liam Williams' try.
England managed to get back level, at 24-24, in the second half but eventually fell to a 40-24 defeat that has left their chances of retaining their Six Nations crown in jeopardy.
It will help them none, at this stage, but Gauzere has now come out and admitted he got those two calls wrong.
Mes amis 🏉 Anglais, Pascal Gauzere had acknowledged that he made 2 mistakes for #ENGvWAL He shouldn’t have allowed that try by @LouisReesZammit & start the 🏉 when @EnglandRugby were still talking @owen_faz , Eddie Jones .Big Sorry xx #GuinnessSixNations #Frenchrugbyconnections pic.twitter.com/ow9VOwpa39
— Veronique Landew (@veroniquelandew) March 1, 2021
In an interview that features in Monday's Midi Olympique, World Rugby's referees manager Joel Jutge told French commented:
"I believe one has to be transparent and not let things drag on and say what one thinks. There were two unfortunate events during the match which were tough cases to handle. Pascal Gauzere recognised as such when he spoke to me on the phone.
"With regard to the second try I think there is a tendency to refer to the TMO too often when one can make the call oneself on the pitch and stick with it which if Pascal had whistled for a knock on there would have been no appeal by the TMO to review it.
"Pascal was the first to admit to this when he re-watched the match on Sunday. When one commits an error one should be transparent about it. Despite this he is still an excellent international referee."
Both Owen Farrell and England boss Eddie Jones refused to be drawn on those Gauzere comments, following their loss on Saturday, but did bemoan the lack of discipline that cost their side [Maro Itoje, alone, was penalised five times].
Gauzere will not referee a game in the remainder of the championship but will be an assistant to Andrew Brace [Italy vs. Wales] and Mathieu Raynal [Ireland vs. England] in upcoming fixtures.