The Secret Ref weighs in on the debate – to retake or not to retake

After the late drama of France and Italy drawing, fly-half Paolo Garbisi was very mature, telling the cameras that “I take full responsibility for that” missed penalty to win the match. However, many are asking if Italy should have been allowed to retake the kick.

Many took to social media to discuss the moment – some bemoaning shot clocks, some wishing simply to console Garbisi about the misfortune of the ball falling off the tee, and others to query whether the Italy playmaker should have been allowed to retake the kick.

Let’s relive the moment quickly.

And since this moment, our resident former elite official, the Secret Ref, has sent in some thoughts on whether there should have been a retake of the Italy kick.

Secret Ref on calls to retake Italy kick

Secret Ref has written of the end of the France-Italy match: “There’s so much going on here, unpicking it is quite a challenge… Let’s ignore for a moment that the ball falls off the tee.

“For me there are two clear French issues that required looking at. The first is that there are water-carriers on the field which is not allowed at a penalty and they are clearly moving in the eyeline of the kicker.  Then, there are two occasions where the players charge the kicker which is also not allowed, especially when held back by the referee.

“Christophe Ridley had a very good game, but I’d like it if he had stopped the whole thing – the clock, everything – and settled everyone down, sent the water-carriers from the field and allowed Garbisi to kick without the unfair pressure.  Some referees would have actually allowed him to take the kick again but to do that in your first Six Nations game at 13-13 and the clock over 80-minutes, would be huge! So I can understand why not.”

What has been said on social media

There is an interesting mix of views on social media.

Some insist there should have been a retake.

Others wished to show support for the magnanimous Italians.

Others believe it was called as best it could.

But all in, there was plenty of interest around another big Six Nations moment. Referee Christophe Ridley also comes out of his first match with huge credit.

What could have been – Italy were so close to making history and getting a first ever win over France, but the margins are so close.

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