Article Title:RWC Final: 'Gay ref did an excellent job'
Author or Daily News staff
Published on:1st November 2015 - 12:17 pm
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Story ID:17490
Text:The early verdict is in... most informed observers of this morning's magnificent World Rugby Cup final, which saw the All Blacks triumph, say gay referee Nigel Owens did an exemplary job. The Australians are, predictably, not so happy. Owens, who is the first openly gay international rugby referee, is frequently praised for his commonsense approach to the job and his excellent knowledge of the game. He came out in Even before the match the likes of retired England captain Will Carling was tweeting: “great news that @Nigelrefowens is in charge of the final. Going to be an epic encounter, overseen by the outstanding ref of last few years.” After the match All Black Tana Umaga tweeted: “Have to take my hat off to @NigelOwens! Very good performance! #Allclass!” Commentators Ben Strang of Stuff and the commentary team at Sky Sport, which included two ex-All Blacks, agreed that Owens had done an excellent jobn by virtually fading into the background. “Owens put in the sort of performance that rugby needs - a performance that saw the referee fade into the background, allowing the teams to play. When he was called upon, Owens took his time, used the tools at his disposal and made the right decisions. There were mistakes, and in rugby refereeing there always are, but when it came to match-defining moments Owens was spot on. He earned his place in the middle of rugby's biggest spectacle, and then produced a performance we'll all forget. That's how it should be,” said Strang this morning. Miffed Aussie commentators claim Owens punished the Wallabies repeatedly in the first half as New Zealand dominated possession and territory. Owens missed an obvious (to TV viewers) forward pass from New Zealand winger Nehe Milner-Skudder, something the Sydney Daily Telegraph has called “dodgy” and Fox Sport Australia commentators reckon Ben Smith should have got more than a yellow card for a lifting tackle. Owens offered a bit of wry advice to Dan Carter who at one point told the ref he was feeling “fucking tired.” Owens responded: “Don't swear, you're on the telly.” Daily News staff - 1st November 2015
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