The England wing dropped the ball over the line
Should the Max Malins ‘try’ have been awarded by referee Ben O’Keefe?
That was the question on the lips of every England fan as the wing appeared to collect a Marcus Smith cross-field kick and score in the second-half of England v France.
The hosts went in at the break 24-points down, a new record for their biggest ever losing margin at half-time at Twickenham, topping New Zealand’s 23-point lead back in 2006.
But things were looking up after the break, and Malins appeared to have grabbed England’s first try in the corner after a pinpoint kick from fly-half Smith.
The crowd roared as the Saracens man seemed to have grounded the ball but France played on and the versatile 26-year-old got up looking slightly bemused.
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O’Keefe called a halt to play and sent it upstairs to the TMO, where after several looks at the replays, Malins was adjudged to have knocked the ball on and did not have control of it when attempting to dot it down.
Luckily for England, they did strike soon after as Freddie Steward got the reward for his industrious carrying by crashing over to give the Twickenham crowd something to cheer about after a difficult first half.
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However, momentum swung back to France in a significant way as Thibaud Flament grabbed his second try of the afternoon after the bounce of the ball foxed full-back Steward.
Charles Ollivon was the second France forward to complete his try double but it came in controversial circumstances as a quirk of the game’s laws allowed the flanker to stretch over the top of a ruck and touch the ball down on the England side.
Marcus Smith had tracked back after Ramos’s kick forward but the England man was dragged over his own try line and with the ball on the line, the ruck is no longer in play meaning players can come around to touch it down.
Many a time a sneaky scrum-half has darted around the edge to touch a ball down in goal but on this occasion, Ollivon used his significant reach to tower get a hand on the ball while it was on the line, with the TMO confirming the score.
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