Welsh referee Nigel Owens has opened up on a “brutal” Rugby World Cup game he refereed involving the Springboks and Samoa in 2011.
In an extremely physical Pool D clash in North Harbour, Samoan fullback Paul Williams was sent off after lashing out at Springbok flank Heinrich Brussow.
Brussow had reacted with strikes to Williams’ arms, as the Samoan fullback was holding onto the flank at a ruck, preventing him from breaking loose.
As Williams got up, he struck Brussow in the face with what appears to be flat hand (WATCH in the video clip below).
The touch judge was called into action, and after a consultation, Owens gave Williams a red card.
In an interview with SuperSport commentator Matthew Pearce, Owens shed more light on the match and incident.
“It was a brutal game. Paul Williams was sent off on the assistant referee’s advice, I didn’t see the incident myself, it was brought to my attention. You couldn’t check with the TMO (television match official) then,” Owens recalled.
“He (the assistant referee) came in and said that Paul Williams had chucked a punch and I said what’s your recommendation and it was a red card.”
Owens also revealed that there was some tension beforehand as the Samoans were not overly keen to have a Welshman in charge for that particular game.
South Africa won the match 13-5.
WATCH the interview below:
– Compiled by Sport24 staff