Ford was adjudged to have started his run-up after Ben Earl's try
It’s happened again. After Ben Earl’s outstretched hand got England back in the game with a try, George Ford looked sure to add the extras with a straightforward kick. However, Ford’s failed conversion caught him by surprise as Wales charged him down.
Ford made a sideways movement after being still which Wales interpreted as the beginning of his approach to the ball – enabling them to start charging him down. Crucially, for those in red, referee James Doleman agreed much to the perplexion of Sale Sharks No 10 Ford.
Related: England Six Nations squad
Watch Ford’s failed conversion
England captain Jamie George also sought clarification from the match official with England and Ford in firm belief that he hadn’t started his forward motion towards the ball.
The charge-down kept the score at 7-5 to Wales after they had earlier been awarded a penalty try when Ethan Roots cynically brought down a rampaging rolling maul just a few metres from the line. Referee Doleman determined a try would have been scored and Roots was sent to the bin on his second England cap, having won Player of the Match on his debut in Rome last weekend.
Ford’s failed conversion was reminiscent of scenes at the World Cup when Cheslin Kolbe charged down Thomas Ramos’s kick in the final between South Africa and France.
Although on that occasion back at the end of October at the Stade de France, Ramos did manage to make connection with the ball but Kolbe’s speed enabled him to get both hands to the kick.
According to World Rugby’s laws, when a team has been scored against and awaits a conversion: “All players retire to their goal line and do not overstep that line until the kicker moves in any direction to begin their approach to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.”
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