Leinster’s utter destruction of Scarlets in the Pro 12 on Saturday evening was outdone by match referee Nigel Owens, who stole the show in front of a packed RDS.
In the dying minutes of a match long since decided, ball boy Joe Downey attempted to throw the ball to the Scarlets players in order to take a penalty. The ball, however, struck Owens in the back, triggering rugby comedy gold and yet another highlight for the referee’s already bursting library of memorable moments.
Immediately recognising the lack of intent or malice, Owens jovially brandished the yellow card to the teenager, bringing a moment of levity from everyone in attendance.
After the match, the famous referee reached out to Downey on social media, promising him his match-worn jersey and extolling the merits of the game in which he is so widely respected.
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) March 4, 2017
On Sunday, Owens updated his followers on Twitter with the news that he had made contact with the ball boy and was sending his jersey to the teenager, just as soon as it was washed.
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) March 5, 2017
In a game that gave fans a routine, efficient, bonus point beating of Scarlets by the home side, Owens injection of comedy is certainly a reminder that we are all fans of a sport and community that is second to none.
Well played, Nigel Owens.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
On this week’s Oval Office Podcast, Jacques Burger talks about his battle with depression, Benetton Treviso’s Ian McKinley reviews Italy’s performance against England and Daniel Killick of The Attacking Scrum tells us what’s gone wrong with Wales.