“That must stop” – Nigel Owens reacts to Owen Farrell incident

“There was too much chat from Farrell to the referee.”

Owen Farrell did not show enough respect to referee Mike Adamson during the game between England and Italy, according to Nigel Owens.

The England captain got in a heated discussion with Adamson at one point in the second half after Italy were awarded a penalty in the English 22.

The referee took little notice of Farrell’s protestations and kept with his on-field decision but didn’t warn the Saracens player over his excessive complaints either.

Writing for the Daily Mail, Owens felt that Farrell went overboard with his challenging of Adam’s decision while noting that it is up to referee’s to clamp down on such behaviour.

“I have huge respect for Owen Farrell both as a player and a person. He is a great guy both on and off the field. But there was too much chat from him to the referee. That must stop.

“He never did that with me. Every time I referee, I tell the players that there is a time and a place for conversation. If they want to discuss something, they have to do it in the right manner. That is one of the game’s values.

“I never have any issues with Owen. Whenever I reffed him, he was always polite. He knew where the line was and never crossed it. That shows he can do it.

“It is up to the referees to keep strong and stay on top of things like that. We don’t want to see it creeping in,” Owens commented.

“England were lucky on two occasions.”

The Welshman also noted that Farrell was lucky to get away with hitting Italy scrum-half Stephen Varney late from behind and that the scoreline had flattered England.

“I think he was also fortunate not to be penalised for his late hit on the Italy scrum-half. No doubt about it. He knows the ball has been passed and he followed through to let him know he was there.

“It’s a penalty so England’s try that followed should not have stood. Add that to Jonny May’s, which should have been disallowed, and I think England were lucky on two occasions,” Owens wrote.

While England secured the bonus point win against Italy, there is still a sense that there is much to do before they can think about challenging for the Six Nations title.

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