Brian Moore says referee Angus Gardner’s controversial call in the closing moments of England’s win against the Springboks was in line with his other calls in the match.
Gardner drew the ire of Bok fans when, with time up on the clock and England leading by a single point, he decided not to award the Springboks a potentially match-winning penalty after reviewing an incident where Owen Farrell appeared to shoulder charge André Esterhuizen.
The decision was heavily debated on social media, with former players divided over whether Gardner was correct.
However, in his column for The Telegraph, Moore – a former England hooker – wrote that Gardner was consistent throughout the match, pointing to RG Snyman’s tackle on England’s George Kruis in the second half.
‘Those criticising the referee, Angus Gardner, appear to have forgotten their own mantra when it comes to officials, which is that they want consistency,’ Moore wrote. ‘If so, they cannot view the Farrell decision in isolation, they must look at how Gardner ruled on similar incidents and particularly the one that gave South Africa three points to go into an 11-9 lead.
‘Immediately before that penalty, Rudolph [RG] Snyman made shoulder contact with George Kruis’ head with Gardner taking the view that Kruis had ducked into the contact. Snyman’s challenge used no arms at all. If Farrell’s was a penalty and a yellow card, Snyman’s was a penalty to England and a red.
‘Take away the three points gained by South Africa and even had Handré Pollard kicked the final penalty, bearing in mind he had just missed a slightly easier one, England still win by a point.
‘Gardner’s view of the Farrell challenge was consistent with the way he viewed others. You can say he was too lenient all round, but not that he was inconsistent.’