Scotland coach Gregor Townsend on Saturday said he could not understand the decision not to award his side a try that would have beaten France with the final act of a controversial Six Nations clash.
The visitors clung on to win 20-16 at Murrayfield as the television match official (TMO) and referee Nic Berry decided not to award a try, despite Sam Skinner appearing to ground the ball on the line.
Berry had initially ruled no try on the field and said there was not enough conclusive evidence to overturn that decision.
“We were celebrating in the coaching box having seen the pictures [of the ball] being placed on the try-line,” Townsend said. “I don’t understand the rationale when you see the pictures and hear the conversation between them [the referee and TMO]. They have said the ball is placed on the try-line.”
Scotland had led for most of the match after going in front through Ben White’s early try and three Finn Russell penalties.
Gael Fickou’s score reduced France’s deficit in the first half and they went in front for the first time in the game 10 minutes from time when Thomas Ramos converted a brilliant individual try by Louis Bielle-Biarrey.
Ramos added a penalty to stretch the lead to four points, before Scotland appeared to have snatched victory at the death to back up a thrilling 27-26 win over Wales the previous weekend.
“The emotions were what a fantastic win, what a team to come back, great victory for our supporters and it is taken away from you,” Townsend said about the late call.
By contrast, the decision brought relief for embattled France coach Fabien Galthie after his side were humbled 38-17 by Ireland the previous weekend.
Galthie hailed his side’s resolve to come from behind after a week of stinging criticism back home for their display against Ireland in Marseille.
“This is a sport of combat, you have to be combative. One has to accept that there are times of adversity,” said Galthie, whose side have still only lost to Ireland in their past 12 Six Nations matches. “We dealt with that this week. We lose together, we suffer together, we win together.”
Les Bleus are suffering a hangover from failing to win the World Cup for the first time on home soil last year.
France were again far from their best in a performance littered with handling errors in the wet Edinburgh conditions.
However, Galthie said a victory was what mattered most to keep their chances of winning the championship alive, should Ireland slip up.
“Given the context, it is OK,” Galthie said. “We are not here to give demonstrations of perfect rugby, we are here to win matches.”
Both sets of players and fans were left in suspense for more than four minutes as they waited for the officials to decide the fate of the match.
“It is very good for the suspense and audience,” Galthie said with more than a hint of sarcasm when asked for his opinion on the decision. “It is very good to check the television for four minutes. The advertising and the show is up. At the end we are happy.”
Baseball star Shohei Ohtani has stunningly revealed he’s married. Ohtani wrote on Thursday on Instagram in Japanese: “The season is approaching but I would like to announce to everyone that I have gotten married.” He said his new wife was a “Japanese woman” without identifying her. He said he would reveal more in an interview; presumably at the Los Angeles Dodgers spring training venue. The 29-year-old Ohtani is Japan’s biggest celebrity, and there has always been curiosity around his personal life, which he has always kept very private. His focus, and his image, has always been 100%-baseball focused — free of scandals or
Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday faced a flurry of criticism after appearing to make an obscene gesture following the end of Al-Nassr’s 3-2 win over Al-Shabab in an exciting Saudi Pro League game. The Portugal forward opened the scoring with a 21st-minute penalty, but Al-Nassr needed a late goal from Brazilian Talisca, who struck twice, to settle the game with four minutes left. After the final whistle, social media videos captured Ronaldo cupping his ear before repeatedly pumping his hand forward in front of his pelvic area. The action appeared to be directed at the rival Al-Shabab supporters. In the background, chants of “Messi”
Taiwanese infielder Yu Chang on Sunday homered for the Tampa Bay Rays in their spring training game against the Detroit Tigers in Port Charlotte, Florida. It was Chang’s first homer for the Rays since the team on Tuesday last week announced that they had signed the 28-year-old to a minor league contract. Chang hit the solo home run to right-center field in the bottom of the second to give the Rays a 2-1 lead. However, Tampa Bay fell to 9-3 behind the Tigers by the sixth inning, before Ruben Cardenas and Kameron Misner hit home runs in the seventh. The Rays plated four more
Fanatics founder Michael Rubin on Friday said that his company is being unfairly blamed for new MLB uniforms that have see-through pants and other fit and design problems. “This is a little bit of a difficult position,” he said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “We’re purely doing exactly as we’ve been told, and we’ve been told we’re doing everything exactly right. And we’re getting the s--- kicked out of us. So that’s not fun.” Since reporting to spring training this month, some players have complained about the fit of new uniforms. The white pants worn by some teams are also