Angus Gardner admits mistake on not penalising Owen Farrell for Andre Esterhuizen tackle

Owen Farrell kicked three penalties during the game
Owen Farrell kicked three penalties during the game

Referee Angus Gardner admitted that he made a mistake not to penalise England's Owen Farrell for his tackle on South Africa's Andre Esterhuizen during the closing stage of the encounter between the two sides on 3rd November at Twickenham Stadium.

The incident happened during the final stage of the game when Farrell's last-gasp tackle at Esterhuizen was deemed legal by Gardner and it proved vital as it robbed South Africa a penalty chance in the game that they went on to lose by 12-11.

Gardner, who was named the Referee of the Year during the World Rugby Awards in Monaco said he would overturn the decision now if there was a chance.

"I think in hindsight now, having discussed it with some other referees... I think the general consensus would be that a penalty was probably the outcome there that should have been given," Gardner told Rupert Cox on the Will Greenwood podcast.

"I think we need to see a wrap with both arms, and I think in hindsight - although he got pinned - there wasn't a big enough wrap from both arms, really. There was a wrap with one arm, but there wasn't a wrap with the other arm."

Gardner said the replays that was shown to him in the stadium gave an impression that the tackle was legal which prompted him to not award penalty to the Boks.

"The angles that I saw with the TMO, which were the head-on angles, showed a clear wrap of the front arm, but it was the back arm which got pinned.

"Of the angles that I was showed in the stadium at the time, that seemed to me to be enough of a wrap for me to constitute a legal tackle.

"It was never high, and so all we were looking at was the tackle technique. The collision itself also kind of swayed my decision because it was a big rugby collision, and we see these hits in the game."

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