The vanquished, it seems, can re-write history as they please if they complain hard enough and appeal with enough conviction.

That's what Wales and their coach Warren Gatland have managed in the wake of losing to England last weekend in the Six Nations: they have badgered World Rugby into saying that they didn't really lose at all because they were denied a try by the incompetence of the Kiwi TMO Glen Newman.

Big, bad England, playing at their fortress Twickenham, were given an unfair helping hand by the officials and Wales, always ever eager to cast themselves as the greatest hard luck story in all of sport, can wallow in self-pity with the new narrative safely ensconced in the public conscious.

Read more: World Rugby admit Kiwi TMO got it wrong


There are, in no particular order, several reasons to be massively concerned by World Rugby's decision to publicly condemn Newman for not awarding a try to Gareth Anscombe after 23 minutes.

The first is that World Rugby are now guilty of being entirely inconsistent when it comes to making public clarifications around contentious decisions. Or in other words, they seem happy enough to throw some officials under the bus, but not others.

The governing body had no hesitation in confirming that Romain Poite had been wrong in 2013 to red card South African hooker Bismarck du Plessis at Eden Park and Craig Joubert was condemned for his decision-making in the last minute of the World Cup quarter-final between Australia and Scotland.

In both instances the mistakes those officials made were glaring and significant. But when Poite made an equally horrendous and damaging mistake at the same ground last year in the final minute of the third test between the All Blacks and British & Irish Lions, there was radio silence from World Rugby.

Read more: Wales seek clarification on 'bad call'

They stayed quiet despite the fact there has rarely, if ever, been a more obviously wrong decision made in the history of the game.

Newman's error in not awarding the try at Twickenham was, given the video evidence, a mistake. But it wouldn't rank as game-defining or sit anywhere near rugby's list of all-time howlers.

There are marginal decisions made in almost every test these days and coaches, should they choose, could single out instances after any game and attribute their defeat to that one decision.

Most choose not to because if they start pulling that thread, the entire fabric of the game will unravel. For every decision that goes against a team, there will be that goes their way and this is the natural balance that the sporting universe maintains.

Wayne Barnes missed that forward pass by the French at the World Cup in 2007, but four years later Joubert seemed to miss a few offside infringements by Richie McCaw.

There is rough and there is smooth – in sport it is imperative to accept them both, but apparently that ethos is crumbling.

There is a new pathway for defeated and vexed coaches now, which is called blaming someone else.

And coaches who take this path have the added incentive of knowing that if they make enough fuss and divert media into focusing on the failings of an official rather than the inadequacy of the gameplan, then World Rugby may cave in to what has become a pseudo witch hunt and give the seething masses what they want – an official's head on a stick.

This may sound beyond the realms of possibility, but it is clearly not as it is what has happened in the case of Wales losing 12-6.

Millions of rugby followers didn't watch the game but will consider that Wales really won it 13-12 and remain on track to win an Grand Slam.

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