Welsh referee Nigel Owens conceded last night that despite doing everything he could to help England win their critical encounter with the All Blacks on Saturday afternoon UK time, the All Blacks have proved the better team on the day.
“I tried everything I could to keep the English in the game,” a flustered Owens admitted at a bar in Cardiff yesterday evening, “I did everything I could to help England but they just weren’t able to capitalise on the advantages I gave them.
“I mean, I sent Dane Coles off when he clearly didn’t deserve, and when the TMO had told me it didn’t warrant a card, just to give the English a numerical advantage, then I decided to disallow a try I’d already awarded and hadn’t asked for a TMO ruling on, purely because the crowd asked me to. Hell, I even refused to dish out an equivalent yellow card to a English defender and awarded them an unjustified penalty try in order to keep them in the game and they still couldn’t beat the All Blacks.”
Owens, whose refereeing performance has come under intense scrutiny following the result, was unrepentant about his clear bias. “Look, someone other than the Springboks at home has to be able to beat these All Blacks, and I was just doing my part to try and make that a reality,” Owens said.
“Wayne Barnes led the way with showing the world how to referee a game in order to clearly disadvantage the All Blacks, and I was just following on from his inspired example. It’s just simply not fair that the All Blacks have so much talent right across the park, so it’s our job, as referees from the home unions, to ensure that our sides can play on a level pegging against those colonial upstarts, regardless of what the words of the rule book say,” Owens added.
When asked whether he planned to frame the signed England jersey given to him by captain Chris Robshaw before the game, in anticipation of the win, Owens declined to comment.