World Rugby say TMO wrong over Wales no-try call
London - World Rugby have told Wales that the television match official made a mistake with his controversial decision to disallow them a try in their Six Nations defeat by England last weekend.
With England leading 12-0 at Twickenham on Saturday, Wales back Gareth Anscombe, under pressure from home wing Anthony Watson, chased down a kick ahead from flyhalf Rhys Patchell.
It was a close call but many observers felt Anscombe had been first to the ball and grounded it correctly.
Wales coach Warren Gatland, speaking after full-time, said televison match official Glenn Newman, his fellow New Zealander, had made a "terrible mistake".
Had the try been awarded England's advantage would have been cut to 12-5, with a conversion to come.
As it was, England held on for a 12-6 win with Wales restricted to two penalties.
But on Tuesday a spokesman for the global governing body said: "World Rugby has clarified to the Wales team management as part of the usual review process with teams that the TMO made an error in the application of law during the England versus Wales match at Twickenham.
"In accordance with law 21.1 b, Wales should have been awarded a try as the Wales player grounded the ball."
Gatland took up the issue with World Rugby's high performance match officials manager Alain Rolland, himself a former Test referee, and Wales assistant coach Rob Howley said Tuesday: "That phone call took place -- I think it was yesterday (Monday) -- and Alain Rolland confirmed on behalf of World Rugby the TMO made a mistake. It's happened.
"It is disappointing that happens in professional sport, but we focus on the next two weeks and getting ourselves ready for Ireland," the former Wales scrumhalf added.
Howley insisted, however, that Wales could still have won the game regardless of Newman's ruling.
"There was plenty of time after that decision. We had a couple of opportunities which we should have taken."
Wales, who opened their Six Nations campaign with a 34-7 thrashing of Scotland, next play Ireland in Dublin on February 24.
Despite last weekend's loss, they remain in title contention behind Ireland and reigning champions England, the only two unbeaten teams left in this season's tournament.