Owens hits back at Toland criticisms

Mon, Jun 18, 2012, 01:00

Rugby:Referee Nigel Owens has defended his refereeing of the second Test between New Zealand and Ireland in Christchurch on Saturday. The Welsh referee took to his Twitter account to reply to the criticisms of Irish Times rugby columnist Liam Toland.

In his column, which you can read here, Toland pointed out what he felt were inconsistencies in Owens’ refereeing of the game, particularly at the breakdown and at the scrum in the latter stages when Ireland’s pack was in the ascendancy.

In response to Toland’s article Owen tweeted “its pity a lot of the facts in it are wrong. he is reporting what he thinks and not the what happened or the law”. He went on to say “wish he wd rite the facts and not guess what he thinks it should be. Maybe he shoould ask for clarification before printing” and “when they right stuff that are totally wrong and also wrong in law. makes me annoyed. and he is way off with his view of it”.

His stance later seemed to soften slightly however. When it was pointed out to him that Toland’s major issue seemed to be with the consistency of how the rules were applied Owens said, “i will review later today. but at this moment i am happy i was consistent and fair to both sides like i always am i hope”.

The All Blacks snatched victory in the last minute of the Test on Saturday morning when Dan Carter dropped a goal to earn a 22-19 victory. The All Blacks gave away a total of 11 penalties to Ireland's nine during the game, with all bar six of that total of 20 being conceded at the breakdown.

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