Ex-England captain Martin Johnson admitted that he would have been "fuming" if a referee had spoken to him the way Pascal Gauzêre spoke to Owen Farrell during England's defeat to Wales on Saturday evening.
A Six Nations clash that eventually went the way of Wales in a convincing 40-24 triumph, it was a game that had no shortage of controversial moments.
In the first-half with the sides level at 3-3, some very quick thinking from Wales' Dan Biggar led to Josh Adams catching a pin-point kick and touching down for the game's first try.
After committing the foul that lead to Biggar getting the ball in hand, it had seemed as if referee Pascal Gauzêre had given Owen Farrell time to prepare his England team to face the Welsh attack.
Yet, hardly any time had passed before Gauzêre gave the word to Biggar than he could restart the game.
🗣 "Every single water carrier was on the field!
🗣 "You've got to give us time to set!!"
Have a listen to Owen Farrell's interaction with referee Pascal Gauzêre after that first Wales try.#WALvENG #GuinnessSixNations #VMTVRugby pic.twitter.com/hhugdcYiYK
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 27, 2021
Speaking on BBC Sport in the aftermath of Saturday's defeat for England, World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson shared his dismay for how Owen Farrell had been treated by the ref.
"I think the referee has to say to England, 'I'm putting the time back on,'" argued Johnson, unhappy that Farrell or his teammates had not been told that Biggar could proceed.
"He has asked Owen to go and talk to his team and he has gone to talk to his team. He has got to say, 'Captain, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, I'm going to put the time back on.'"
Unhappy with the decision, the thing that really seemed to upset Johnson was the referee's tone in speaking to Farrell when the England captain subsequently complained about the decision.
"He is totally dismissive with Owen afterwards," he said. "I mean, I thought the way he spoke to Owen Farrell, 'time back on, go away', I'd have been absolutely fuming if I was in the England team."
Alongside Johnson on the BBC's panel this afternoon, Jeremy Guscott suggested that England should have been more reactive than they were, but nevertheless had been hard done by.
"When the referee says, 'I gave you time to set,'" noted Guscott, "he clearly didn't. It wasn't long enough."
You can watch back James Downey's assessment of today's clash between Italy and Ireland in full here
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