Nigel Owens received backlash from a fan on Twitter after awarding a penalty try to England during their 44-8 victory against France in the Six Nations on Sunday.
The penalty try was awarded after Chris Ashton was perceived to have been tackled off the ball, meaning he was prevented from almost certainly crossing the line to add another five points, to their 30-8 lead at the time.
To rub more salt in the wounds, the culprit Gael Fickou was sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes as a result.
Although the decision was double checked by the television match official, rugby fan David Richardson bizarrely still felt aggrieved and posted on Twitter: “Nigel Owens getting another big decision wrong but we can't criticise him because it's Owens????”
The tweet, for the most part, received a negative reaction from other fans on social media and it didn't take long for it to reach Owens' attention.
Owens, who is never afraid to speak his mind, did not take kindly to the criticism and in return called out the fan.
He tweeted: “No one is above criticism and I certainly am not. But if you’re [sic] only following someone on here just to criticise them maybe you should have a long look in the mirror and start criticising yourself. Hope it doesn't crack though”
He then proceeded to challenge the fan to come and referee a match himself, after noticing a trend of tweets on the fan’s profile.
Owens added: “And your timeline seems to be constantly criticising referees. Come and referee a game yourself then you can let us all judge you then. Will start with u8s tag rugby if you can manage to keep up that is.”
Obviously given the wide scoreline at the time, Owens' decision didn't have much of an impact on the eventual result as England moved on to two very convincing wins from two.
In two weeks' time, they face Wales in what may later prove the title decider ahead of the World Cup later this year.News Now - Sport News