Plenty of debate over Wales' two first-half touchdowns


Wales v England dominated by controversial try decisions

Wales took the lead in their Six Nations match against England in Cardiff with two controversial tries.

They eventually won the fixture 40-24 to lift the Triple Crown but it was two first-half decisions that caused the most debate.

Related: Rugby World verdict on the Triple Crown win

The first came in the 17th minute. The scores were level at 3-3 after Dan Biggar and Owen Farrell had exchanged early penalties when Wales were awarded another penalty inside the England 22.

Farrell had conceded that penalty and asked referee Pascal Gauzere for time to talk to his players, who he gathered in a huddle under the posts.

Gauzere blew for time off and as soon as he restarted play, Biggar kicked cross field and Josh Adams gathered the ball to score.

Biggar’s conversion made it 10-3 – but England were not happy. They had still been talking under the posts and the water carriers were on the pitch when Biggar kicked crossfield and were not able to react in time to stop Adams out wide.

Farrell approached Gauzere as soon as Adams had touched down to appeal the decision to award the try, but the referee said: “I allowed you time to give the message and after that it was play on.”

Farrell closed the gap with another penalty shortly afterwards to make it 10-6 after 20 minutes, but the try decision has caused debate on social media.

Then after half an hour, Wales were awarded another try – again in controversial circumstances.

Adams kicked through into the England 22, Louis Rees-Zammit couldn’t gather the ball but as it went loose Liam Williams collected it and went over.

Most people thought that it was a knock-on from Rees-Zammit but TMO Alex Ruiz ruled that he couldn’t see him “knock the ball forward. It touched his leg and then the ball went backwards”.

Even the players looked surprised that the try stood but Biggar converted to give Wales a 17-6 lead.

Matt Dawson described the decision as “shocking” on BBC Radio 5Live and it caused controversy on Twitter too.

An Anthony Watson try in the 35th minute as England attacked in the 22 brought them back into the game and Farrell further narrowed the gap with a penalty in front of the posts in added time.

That made it 17-14 at half-time and an intriguing second period awaited.

Midway through the second half it was 24-24 after tries from scrum-halves Kieran Hardy and Ben Youngs, but Wales pulled clear to win 40-24 as England conceded a succession of penalties and Cory Hill scored the bonus-point try.

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