French referee Pascal Gauzere has admitted to and apologised for two incidents which occurred during the Six Nations Round 3 clash between Wales and England over the weekend – both of which resulted in tries for the Welsh.
The first one occurred after 16 minutes in the first half when Gauzere instructed England captain Owen Farrell to have a word with his team before promptly calling ‘time on’. Wales fly-half Dan Biggar took a quick penalty and sent a cross-kick to the corner where winger Josh Adams subsequently scored. A horrified Farrell was waved away by Gauzere as the former protested.
England’s noses were again put out of joint after Liam Williams’ try, the lead-up to which involved a knock-on by Welsh winger Louis Rees-Zammit. Gauzere and his officials, however, judged that no knock-on had taken place and awarded the try.
In an interview with Midi Olympique, World Rugby’s referee manager Joel Jutge said:
"I believe one has to be transparent and not let things drag on and say what one thinks. There were two unfortunate events during the match which were tough cases to handle. Pascal Gauzere recognised as such when he spoke to me on the phone.
"With regard to the second try I think there is a tendency to refer to the TMO too often when one can make the call oneself on the pitch and stick with it which if Pascal had whistled for a knock on there would have been no appeal by the TMO to review it.
"Pascal was the first to admit to this when he re-watched the match on Sunday. When one commits an error one should be transparent about it. Despite this he is still an excellent international referee."