The prop saw his own score disallowed for what was deemed a dangerous clear-out

Italy were denied a try against France in controversial circumstances after a ‘dangerous’ Simone Ferrari clear-out saw the prop’s own try chalked off.

The Azzurri were once again well and truly second best at OL Stadium in Lyon. Last week’s brutal thumping by the All Blacks was followed up by another lopsided scoreline against the hosts, although arguably Kieran Crowley’s side should have had something to show for their first-half efforts.

Read more: 2023 Rugby World Cup top try-scorer

France were already 24-0 up thanks to tries for Damian Penaud, Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Thomas Ramos, as well as penalty from the full-back’s reliable boot.

However, Italy thought they had got their first points on the board after Ferrari, playing at loosehead rather than his preferred tighthead, burrowed over from barely a metre out. But South African TMO Marius Jonker uttered the immortal words of “check, check” and a Ferrari clear-out on France scrum-half Maxime Lucu was reviewed.

There was some debate and confusion about where the impact took place but eventually the refereeing team headed by Karl Dickson made the decision that the impact had started on the chest and risen up to the head. Therefore they disallowed the try and awarded the hosts a penalty instead.

This call was widely criticised on social media. One fan wrote: “Italy robbed of a try. One of the worst calls of the #RWC23 so far.”

Another added: “That’s embarrassing. Not even a penalty. Refereeing is awful these days. Italy robbed.”

A third said: “That is the softest penalty for a high shot Iv ever seen…. France 9 dipping and no force… I’m not even 100% sure he hits his head… Italy robbed.”

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