England fly half Owen Farrell made a huge match-winning tackle on centre Adriaan Esterhuizen in the final play of the game against South Africa on Saturday but the legality of the hit has been questioned.
Referee Angus Gardner consulted the television match official before blowing the final whistle and the challenge was deemed legal, however commentators and pundits had differing views.
🏴Controversial end to England’s win🏴
Should this have been a @Springboks penalty at the end of the game❓#ENGVRSA #FollowTheRose @EnglandRugby @Springboks pic.twitter.com/377FUxSYnQ
— Sky Sports Rugby (@SkySportsRugby) 3 November 2018
During the live commentary on Sky Sports, Stuart Barnes said that it “was not an attempted tackle” and was surprised that no penalty was awarded to South Africa.
Speaking to the BBC, England head coach Eddie Jones said: “The bloke ran at him hard and he hit him around the chest, and that’s legal.”
Love Owen Farrell’s drive,attitude and competitiveness in the way he plays. Though it was a penalty but I hope he doesn’t get cited. No good to @Springboks
— Jonathan Davies OBE (@JiffyRugby) 4 November 2018
Following the final whistle, Farrell discussed the tackle, saying: “If you watch that full speed, he has a big run up on me, and we both bounce off each other and end up on the floor. It’s hard to wrap your arms around when you’re both hitting each other at that much force, but I tried to.”
The final score was 12-11 to England in the opening match of the autumn test series and prior to Farrell’s tackle, South Africa fly half Handre Pollard had an opportunity to win the match from a penalty kick, but hit the upright.
England will now play the All Blacks on Saturday, 10 November at Twickenham for the first time in four years.
Here is a RFU wrap up from the game’s action