World Rugby admits Gareth Anscombe’s try for Wales should have stood

TMO was incorrect to disallow score during defeat at Twickenham

WR’s head of referees acknowledges error to coach Warren Gatland

Wales v England

Gareth Anscombe of Wales, left, was ruled to have not properly grounded the ball before England’s Anthony Watson got both hands on it.
Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

World Rugby have confirmed to Wales that the television match official Glenn Newman was incorrect in law when he disallowed Gareth Anscombe’s first-half try at Twickenham last weekend.

Wales lost to England 12-6 and afterwards their head coach Warren Gatland described Newman’s call as a terrible mistake. The official ruled that the Wales full-back Anscombe had not properly grounded the ball before the England Anthony Watson got both hands to it.

World Rugby’s head of referees, Alain Rolland, rang Gatland on Monday and admitted that the try should have been awarded, although other replays suggested the Wales wing Steff Evans had knocked on in the build-up. Newman, a New Zealander, is not scheduled to be a tmo again this Six Nations.

“It was good to have a dialogue with World Rugby and they confirmed the tmo made a mistake in a phone call to Warren on Monday,” said the Wales attack coach, Rob Howley. “It has happened, and it is disappointing that it has done so in professional sport, but we have to focus on preparing for our next game in Ireland.

“There was plenty of time after the decision and we had a couple of opportunities we could have taken. We did not find our rhythm in the first half when conditions were difficult and England squeezed us with their kicking game, but when the weather improved we played with intent and ambition, not rewarded on the scoreboard and coming up short. It is always a chance lost when it is a one score game.”

Wales fielded an inexperienced back three against England with Liam Williams and George North not considered match fit, but they have since played for their clubs while Leigh Halfpenny, who pulled out of the Twickenham encounter the day before the game with a foot infection, should be available for Dublin when the aerial battle is again likely to influence the result. In addition, the No 8 Taulupe Faletau and the outside-half Dan Biggar are expected to resume full training at the end of the week.

“England’s kicking game was outstanding and we expect no different in Ireland,” said Howley. “We will have to deal with it. We have a lot of experience to call on but the players at Twickenham will have learned from the match.”