England Coach Eddie Jones was not far wrong when he predicted that his squad would give New Zealand’s All Blacks a run at Twickenham.
England came within a point of beating the Kiwis in a dramatic 16 – 15 outcome. We would mention that the game was played on a rain-drenched ground, but for the fear of being redundant.
The problem with the loss for England, however, was that they scored all 15 of their points in the first half while holding New Zealand to nil, only to have the script flipped in the second half.
AS is often the case in the era of technology, the officials made the defining decision late in the game, although England can hardly complain, after being the beneficiaries of a ruling that went in their favour in the recent game against South Africa.
With four minutes remaining in the game with the ABs, Courtney Lawes charged down a kick from TJ Perenara. The ball was gathered up by England, with Sam Underhill taking in what looked like the match-winning try.
The on-ground officials awarded the try on the spot, but before England could kick the conversion, the referee had to call a halt in order for the man behind the screen, TMO Marius Jonker, to have a look.
Three minutes later, despite no compelling evidence that Lawes was offside when he blocked down the kick from Perenara, during which time the French official on the ground, Jerome Garces, could not come to a conclusion from watching the replays on the big screens at Twickenham.
It is no longer a surprise in any code when on-field rulings are overturned by the Television Match Official, or whatever term by which that person is known in the different codes, changes a ruling with disregard to the restriction that the replay must show clear and obvious proof that the wrong call was made on the field.
The only way these sorts of controversies, short of getting rid on replay review, is for squads to run up an insurmountable margin, such that the officials cannot interfere with the outcome via capricious whim.