What a surprise - Aussie pundits and fans are less than thrilled by referee Nigel Owens' decision to deny a Wallaby try at a crucial point in last night's fraught Bledisloe Cup test at Eden Park.

Former Wallaby Rod Kafer, now part of Fox Sports' commentary team, said Owens should never referee again after Henry Speight's try was disallowed.

Speight's try would have left the scoreline level at 15-all with the conversion to come.

But Owens ruled it out for obstruction after discussing the passage of play with TMO Shaun Veldsman. They decided Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty had blocked Julian Savea.


In commentary on Fox Sports,and reported by the channel's website, Kafer said he believed Owens had been pressured by the partisan Auckland crowd into reviewing the try.

"This is ridiculous, the crowd's been at the referee and Nigel Owens has now asked for a TMO ruling on a player who's going to be behind the ball and is never, ever in a position to affect the ball," Kafer said in commentary.

"He's been done by the crowd here, Nigel Owens.

"That's shoulder to shoulder, he's behind the ball, there's no such thing as an obstruction.

"Nigel Owens should never referee a Test match again, that is disgraceful.

"He's behind the ball, he can run where he likes.

"It was a crucial decision that absolutely changed the course of this Test match."

Former top referee Jonathan Kaplan and Aussie fans criticised the call on Twitter.