French referee Romain Poite was under fire – again – this time from Welsh fans after dismissing TMO Brian MacNeice’s interjection in the lead up to England’s first try in their Autumn Nations Cup match with Wales at Parc Y Scarlets.


Poite dismissed two major TMO interjections, one which favoured Wales and one that clearly didn’t.

The TMO let Poite know via his earpiece that Dan Biggar had been tackled in the air by England backrow Sam Underhill after he collected a high ball just outside his 22. Biggar was subsequently turned over. Poite dismissed the decision verbally while on the run, and a few phases later England’s Henry Slade had scored in the corner.

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Replays showed that the TMO was correct, with Biggar clearly mid-air when Underhill made contact.

“Romain Poite is succeeding in turning this into a complete shambles. Indecisive when he needs to be decisive, decisive when he should have listened to his TMO. Really poor thus far,” posted one irate Tweeter, and it summed up a lot of the sentiment directed at the Frenchman.

“If you ever feel a bit inadequate at work, just remember that Romain Poite has been a test level referee for over a decade,” said another.


“There’s no doubt that England are the better side and have dominated possession and territory but Poite has absolutely killed Wales. Three significant wrong calls which have lead to England points.”


Minutes later a questionable hit by England fullback Elliot Daly was also deemed fine, despite cameras angles suggesting the Saracen’s tackle technique lacked an arm wrap and was a tad high.

Others were delighted to see a referee sticking up for his on-field decisions.

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