England secured a 12-6 victory over Wales at Twickenham in the NatWest 6 Nations on Saturday and with the dust settling, there is one pivotal moment of the game that could have a major bearing on the course of the championship.
With England already two tries to the good thanks to Jonny May, Wales’ Gareth Anscombe appeared to have breathed life back into the visitors’ challenge in the 23rd minute.
Chasing down a through-ball, Anscombe appeared to win a foot race with Anthony Watson as the ball skidded beyond the try line.
With both diving for the ball, the full-back, who had a superb game deputising for late withdrawal Leigh Halfpenny, appeared to get a hand to the ball before Watson.
The question was, did he ground the ball? Was there enough downward pressure to categorically say: ‘yes, that’s a try.’
Match referee Jerome Garces quickly deferred to his TMO, where several re-runs of the moment were played out on the big screen. Replays showed that the Welshman did indeed win the race with Watson but whether he got that essential downward pressure, the TMO was less certain.
Without the definitive proof he needed, Garces ruled out the try and Wales remained adrift of their fast-starting opponents.
Now, however, Wales legend Gareth Thomas has shared a compelling image of the pivotal moment that would suggest that the side he represented 100 times were the unfortunate victims of a bad call.
I’m sad this will be the talking point of a great game of rugby.Its a shame, but in no doubt TMO needs 👓 pic.twitter.com/FFFT4wZxxt
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) February 11, 2018
From the head-on angle, one that was unavailable to the TMO at the time, it appears that Anscombe did indeed make the required downward pressure that would have seen his side secure five points that could have won them the contest.
Be it by one finger-tip or two hands, downward pressure is just that and the image posted by Thomas appears irrefutable.
What do you think?