Video replays circulating online are calling into question the nature of England’s crucial late try, which forced their Autumn Nations Cup final into sudden-death extra time with France.


England won the tournament final in the most dramatic circumstances. Owen Farrell landed a “golden point” penalty in sudden-death extra time to secure a 22-19 victory over a young French team who had been seconds away from a famous victory.

Farrell converted a Luke Cowan-Dickie try with the last kick of normal time to level the scores, but then hit the post with a penalty 80 seconds into extra time, where the first points scored would win the match. When he got a second chance, though, Farrell made no mistake.

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However, in the lead up to the Cowan-Dickie try, England No.8 Billy Vunipola appears to knock the ball on, a call missed by referee Andrew Brace.

There was also a second alleged knock-on moments later, also missed by Brace, in the lead up to the vital try that saved England’s blushes.


The clips, which were spotted by eagle-eyed South African Derek Alberts, have been viewed thousands of time. Fans also noted that the TMO – Ben Whitehouse – also didn’t pick up either of the knock-ons.

“I don’t have a dog in this fight and regard refereeing as one of the toughest and most thankless jobs in the world. I could probably find a few decisions where France benefited too. But those closing few minutes delivered some shambolic officiating which cost France a trophy,” noted Alberts.

Aside from these missed calls, Brace came under fire online for the calls he did make, which many felt favoured the home side, including former Scotland captain, Andy Nicol, who quipped:


It was tough on France, who played with all the confidence of youth and, taking the game to the hugely experienced hosts, deservedly led 13-6 at halftime after a sharp Brice Dulin try and the boot of impressive flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert.

They then offered a spirited defence of their own line in the face of a relentless England forward assault at the end of the half.

England made most of the running in the second half but an uncharacteristically inaccurate Farrell could not turn enough penalty opportunities into points.

Instead, replacement France flyhalf Louis Carbonel landed two pressure kicks which looked to be enough, before England scored their fateful try.

– additional reporting AAP

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