Nigel Owens has responded to Luke Fitzgerald’s comments about the respected referee’s style of officiating on the field of play and fans have unanimously rounded on the former Leinster man for his troubles.
Fitzgerald was critical of Owens’ comments during Munster’s defeat of Glasgow during their Pro 12 clash on Saturday, claiming they were ‘disrespectful’. Then, singling out the referee’s witty quip to Cian Healy after Christmas last year, Fitzgerald stated there was ‘no room in the game’ for the kind of comments Owens has become so renowned and respected for.
Now, the man himself has had his say. Responding via Facebook, the Welshman drew his battle lines and defended himself against the retired Ireland international.
As if this were not enough, fans have sided with the respected referee and given Fitzgerald something of a roasting via Twitter on Monday.
@Nigelrefowens is a brilliant, well-respected ref and he makes rugby even more enjoyable to watch. Get over yourself Luke Fitzgerald!
— Vanessa Marchesi (@VanBran44) April 10, 2017
Wrong Luke. We absolutely need more witty banter from refs.
— macker (@LordoftheRhinos) April 10, 2017
Wrong wrong wrong
— Doug P (@potterwigham) April 10, 2017
@Nigelrefowens who is Luke Fitzgerald anyway
— alan pitt (@algiep1960) April 10, 2017
@Nigelrefowens Oh shush Luke!
— Siân Prosser (@sian_prosser) April 10, 2017
— Bertie Wooles 🔶💙💛🇪🇺💛💙🔶 (@BertZZ_) April 10, 2017
While Fitzgerald felt strongly enough to nail his colours to the mast, it is clear that he is in the minority when it comes to Owens and the manner in which he officiates on the field.
With the Welshman’s own response refuting the Irishman’s assertions, it would appear that, while entitled to his own opinion, Fitzgerald hasn’t endeared himself to or won over some new fans with his remarks.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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