Nigel Owens explains why the penalty try to Scotland was awarded.
In the first edition for 2022 of World Rugby’s YouTube show ‘Whistle Watch’, Owens weighs in on the controversial penalty try awarded to Scotland in the 2022 Calcutta Cup.
England lost 20-17 to Scotland in the opening round of the Six Nations in a game which featured what some would call a ‘controversial’ penalty try to level the game at 17 a piece with 15 minutes on the clock. Substitute hooker for England Luke Cowan-Dickie was yellow carded and a penalty try was awarded to Scotland by referee Ben O’Keefe.
Following a TMO review, Ben O’ Keefe opted to send Cowan-Dickie off for 10 minutes to the sin bin and award Scotland with a penalty try. This left the score at 17 a piece coming into the final 10 minutes. Then in the 72nd minute, Finn Russell slotted a penalty for Scotland to beat rivals England and kick off their 2022 Six Nations campaign with a win.
Virgin Media pundit Matt Williams said that he thought it was a “dodgy penalty try”. Williams said “I’ve seen some dodgy penalties tries and that’s right up there”. Williams was not certain that the act of foul play would have led to a definite try had it not been committed.
Owens, when speaking about the key turning point in the game said if Cowan-Dickie made a “genuine attempt to try and catch that ball, and lost it forward, knocked it on…it would have been a scrum down, Scottish put in”.
Owens explains that Cowan Dickie quite clearly slaps the ball forward. Owens said that there were two offenses committed by Cowan-Dickie. The substitute hooker, intentionally slapped the ball down and and deliberately slapped the ball into touch, which you cannot do.