NEW ZEALAND 37-10 AUSTRALIA, 2016
The All Blacks were at Eden Park in October 2016 hoping to set a world record of 18 consecutive victories.
Their opponent was their oldest foe – the Wallabies. And while the Bledisloe Cup was safely in the cupboard, the Australians were hungry and desperate.
That much became obvious when they began to dominate the game early in the second half. They had the momentum, possession and territory and were pushing to get ahead on the scoreboard.
Which they thought they had managed when Henry Speight scored after 48 minutes. But after awarding the try, referee Nigel Owens was goaded by the crowd to look back to determine whether Dane Haylett-Petty had obstructed Julian Savea who was chasing back to try to make a tackle on Speight.
Savea had maybe been impeded but it didn’t look like he was anywhere near close enough to have made the tackle so the try should have stood.
But nope. It was chalked off to the fury of the Wallabies.
Coach Michael Cheika was careful with his response: “Obviously I can’t say anything because they’ve got you by the throat. I’ve just never seen shepherding from behind before.”
Commentator Rod Kafer, though, didn’t hold back: “Nigel Owens should never referee a test match again, that is disgraceful. He [Haylett-Petty] is behind the ball, he can run where he likes.
“It was a crucial decision that absolutely changed the course of this test match.”
DENIED Henry Speight’s try should have been allowed.