What’s this about referee Nigel Owens getting into a row with the Irish Times?
Welsh referee Nigel Owens has decided not to take criticism of him from the Irish Times lying down, taking to Twitter to call Liam Toland’s assessment of his performance on Saturday ‘lies’.
Ireland’s heartbreaking defeat to New Zealand on Saturday morning was tough to take. What made it worse was that with the scores level on 76 minutes, and with Ireland in an attacking position, referee Nigel Owens awarded a penalty to the All Blacks after a scrum that many felt should have been an Irish penalty.
As we now know instead of Jonny Sexton having a pop at the posts to win it in Christchurch, the Kiwis went down the other end and Dan Carter finished us off. That decision by Owens was much debated on Saturday and Irish Times rugby columnist, and former player, Liam Toland, covered it extensively in his column on Monday.
The former Leinster man wrote about inconsistencies from the Welsh whistler during the 80 minutes, including his interpretations of the breakdowns and an analysis of the various calls he made at different scrums, including the contentious one.
Anyway, that would have been it had Owens not decided to have a go at Toland on Twitter.
Owens goes on to accuse Toland of not knowing what he is talking about because he is not a referee.
In today’s paper Toland responds, expressing his disappointment and rejecting accusations from Owen that he is biased because he is Irish.
Considering how prolific Owens is on Twitter, we expect he will be respond soon but based on this tweet from last night, he won’t be backing down.