'Very, very dumb play': Cowan-Dickie's pivotal moment that turned the Calcutta Cup
Despite trailing 10-6 at the half, England had dominated the possession and territory stakes but were scuppered by a resilient Scottish defence.
The visitors continued to arrest control in the second, firstly narrowing the gap to 10-9 with a Smith penalty before taking the lead when Ben Youngs put England’s flyhalf into a gap for a well-worked try.
Another Smith penalty in the 63rd minute took England’s lead to 17-10 which looked to have taken the game out of Scotland’s reach before the decisive play of the game.
Following a second consecutive cross-field kick, Scotland looked certain to score with the ball directed into the path of Darcy Graham. The closest defender, hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, made a deliberate play to disrupt the catch by illegally knocking the ball forward into touch.
After deliberation with the match officials, referee Ben O’Keefe had no option but to award a penalty try and issuing a yellow card to the England hooker, resulting in the scores being locked at 17-all.
“Very, very dumb play from Cowan-Dickie, he could’ve caught the ball,” Williams said.
“He certainly didn’t look like he knew the laws of the game. You are not allowed to bat the ball forward or out, it is a penalty and regarded as foul play in rugby, as ridiculous as some people think that is.
“However, I’ve got to say, I’ve seen some dodgy penalty tries and that’s right up there. I’m not so certain that you could say was a try definitely going to be scored. Did the foul play definitely stop a try from being scored?
“I just don’t think it fulfilled those requirements. It doesn’t matter now, it’s been awarded. That lit the game up, that penalty try.
Former Irish fullback Rob Kearney also agreed with Williams’ view but stated that Cowan-Dickie’s decision was ‘absolutely crazy’
“Absolutely it didn’t fill the requirements for me,” Kearney said.
“He’d done all the hard work, he got himself into the right position. He timed his jump into the air really well, got his two hands up in the air, and then just decided to bat it into touch.
“It was absolutely crazy stuff. We always loathe to put the blame on one person, but he has cost his team this game.”
If only Cowan-Dickie had used a cricket bat so that penalty could have been more obvious #SCOvENG
— Bex (@Rebecca15Smith) February 5, 2022
Luke Cowan Dickie is the only reason Scotland won #SCOvENG
— Adam Tauszky (@Leap_year_man) February 5, 2022
So frustrating. The game was there to win and we lost all momentum with that stupid Cowan-Dickie decision. Game management from both Jones and on field players not good enough and ultimately cost us. Not a good feeling. #GuinnessSixNations #SCOvENG
— Piers Dunham (@piersdunham) February 5, 2022
England did more than enough to win that, poor discipline and bad substitutions cost us the win. Scotland did enough and kept their heads. Smith coming off and Cowan dickie taking his brain out cost us that! #SCOvENG
— Jacko (@JackThomas91) February 5, 2022
#SCOvENG gutted about the result. No question that that brainless penalty try and yellow cost the game.
Can’t believe that Cowan Dickie was laughing as he came off.
The best thing is that Brian Moore is finally going.
— Richard Crawford-Small (@RCrawfordSmall) February 5, 2022
Well played Scotland. That was all about taking your chances. England didn’t. Scotland did. Brilliant defence from the hosts. Moment of madness from Cowan-Dickie costly. Could argue England should have had a scrum pen at the end. Good game though #SCOvENG #GuinnessSixNations
— George Thorpe (@MrGeorgeThorpe) February 5, 2022
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