Footage from a Heineken Cup match between Saracens and Edinburgh has shown Owen Farrell taking a quick penalty before water carriers had left the pitch.
Farrell was furious with referee Pascal Gauzere after he allowed Dan Biggar to take a quick penalty before the water carriers had left the pitch and the English players had set their defensive line.
There has been much discussion in the media of the incident over the week, with many pundits saying that Farrell was right to be angry, and that he had reacted appropriately to the decision.
But I thought Owen Farrell said you couldn’t do this until water carriers were off and the defensive line was set?!? pic.twitter.com/cpzZDM9MDT
— Andrew Forde (@andrewfrugby) March 3, 2021
While that may all still be true, footage of the fly-half doing almost the exact same thing has emerged when playing for Saracens in a match from 2013.
Slight differences between the two incidents
In the clip, referee Jerome Garces has just finished speaking to Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw, before he allows Farrell to take a quick tap for a penalty, before making a cross field kick.
Saracens winger Chris Ashton was wise to Farrell’s thoughts, and gets on the end of the nicely-weighted kick, and dots down in the corner.
The try stood on that occasion too, as Saracens took a 19-7 lead through the quick thinking from Farrell and Ashton, and eventually coasted past Edinburgh to beat them 40-7.
🗣 “Every single water carrier was on the field!
🗣 “You’ve got to give us time to set!!”
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 27, 2021
While both incidents weren’t the exact same, as Garces hadn’t told Laidlaw to speak to his players on that occasion, both tries arguably should not have stood as a result of several water carriers still being on the pitch.
Farrell certainly thought that was the case against Wales, as he argued that “Every single water carrier was on the field. You’ve got to give us time to get set.”
While Gauzere technically did not mistakenly apply the laws, referees do normally give each team notice as to when the time is back on.