MOVE over VAR – sport has a new super-villain in town.

Step forward ref Pascal Gauzere – the Frenchman who kept Wales in the Grand Slam hunt with the worst call in Six Nations history.

Marin Johnson was utterly speechless. Sam Warburton, desperately trying not to laugh, admitted he would have been livid.

England and simmering skipper Owen Farrell were all of these and so, so much more.

It was most-shockingly poor flash-point from a ref you could remember – perhaps in any sport.

Because bungling official Gauzere shouldn't have been allowed to take charge of the second half for the way in which he ordered Farrell to sort his side out for ill-discipline, then stitched them up straight away.

Cardiff didn't have it's usual 16th man, their mad 75,000 crowd – so Gauzere had a blinder filling in for them.

Instead of letting England re-group after huddling near the sticks, Gauzere made it up as he blew his whistle to allow Dan Biggar to kick for Josh Adams' try in the corner.

Stunned and shocked, England thought it must have been a joke – there were even water carriers still on the pitch.

Before the game Eddie Jones said the pressure was on the official to make the right decisions.


It turns out, he couldn't – and probably shouldn't be handed another game this tournament.

It was the ultimate comedy of errors, but England played their part in the downfall, too.

Discipline was again an issue. Early penalties from Jonny May and two more from Maro Itoje saw Wales roll deep into England's 22 and Biggar grabbed an easy three to draw first blood.

England levelled with Farrell's own kick after a strong period of dominance and big hits, including Jonny Hill burying Biggar into the turf.

Biggar had the last laugh, though – but what a howler from the ref.

World Cup winner and ex England gaffer Johnno slammed the fiasco as the most controversial half of rugby the Six Nations had ever seen, adding: "That's appalling refereeing."

Because ref Gauzere, in his own words, ordered Farrell to "have a word with your team to change your behaviour."

So he did, before they were absolutely shafted.

No sooner had Farrell and co finished their chat, and still mainly huddled-up, Biggar, standing next to the ref, kicked wide to Adams in acres of space to score – just like George North in 2019.

"I would be livid if I was England," said ex-Wales and Lions skipper Sam Warburton.

And guess what, they were. Farrell's bedside manner isn't the best on a good day, so he gave it to bungling Gauzere as he fumed: "You've got to give us time to set." 

After rowing with the ref, the centre kicked England back in it, with anger, to close the gap with his second pen.

And as everyone who has been to Wales knows, it never rains, it pours.

Wales' 16th-man Gauzere gifted them another score as Louis Rees-Zammitt appeared to knock-on in the build-up to Liam Williams' try.

Replays showed he never had the ball under control.

The 29-year-old sensation dropped it onto his thigh, then it bounced off his calf and BEHIND him as tackler Henry Slade kneed it forward.

Even Rees-Lightning, Wales' latest pin-up, knew he had ballsed-up.

England picked themselves up, and dug in, again. Farrell then did what no one expected with a kick-able penalty – he went for the corner. And guess what, it paid off.

A swarm of white shirts gathered their own line-out and with Jamie George steering the maul from the back they sprung an attack and went wide, where Anthony Watson cut in and skittled Adams to score.

Farrell pushed the touchline conversion wide, but had a penalty sail over just before they headed back into the sheds at 17-14 down.

Farrell had the chance to level with an early second-half penalty that dropped agonisingly short.

Then Kieran Hardy pounced after Hill's penalty at a ruck. The scrum-half darted past sleepy England to score on a dream first Six Nations start.

Biggar was off injured, so Bristol's Callum Sheedy added the conversion for a ten-point lead.

Farrell chopped it down with his first penalty of the second half, but England desperately needed tries if they were going to win it.

The attack finally fired and centurion Ben Youngs finished as he spotted a gap and darted past Liam Williams from five yards.

With the extras over from Farrell, it was neck and neck with 18 minutes to go.

The hard work was done, but straight away all of that good work was tossed into the Taff.

Sheedy nailed three penalties in the final 15 minutes and Corey Hill rubbed salt in wounds that will last for decades with a whopping win.

England will be haunted by this one for just as long – their tournament is over with France and Ireland to come. 

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