Champions Cup Final Ends In Confusion Over Timekeeping

Champions Cup Final Ends In Confusion Over Timekeeping

Exeter Chiefs lifted the  Champions Cup for the first time after a breathtaking final at Ashton Gate, holding off Racing 92 to come out 31-27 victors in an all-time European classic.

The English side led throughout most of the game as Racing kept it tight in a see-saw encounter which came to an incredible climax.

In all there were eight tries scored, the most ever in a Champions Cup final with Simon Zebo grabbing two for himself. Despite being a man down, Exeter would kick a penalty to clinch the result as the clock wound down.

However, there was confusion in the final minute as the kick was being taken.

Racing 92 thought they would have one final opportunity to get a go-ahead try but it quickly emerged that there had been a mistake with the clock with referee Nigel Owens requesting that the clock be stopped and pushed back by 5 seconds after Exeter took some time to decide that they would take the kick.

However, when Joe Simmonds stepped up to take the kick, the clock had not restarted when requested by referee Nigel Owens, something he would soon be informed of by his TMO.

With the kick set to take place with around 30 seconds on the clock, Simmonds' kick should have been the final play of the game had he converted it or had the ball gone dead. 

However, Owens still had to confirm with the TMO, here is the exchange:

TMO: "I'll explain what happened. You asked the time to go on, we were working with the producers to turn that time on. We were unable to do so when you asked, however when the ball crossed the posts it was about 79:57. The clock should have been in excess of 80:00 because the clock was not put on when you asked for it to be put on."

Nigel Owens: "All I want to know is, when the ball crossed the posts was the time up? Yes or no?"

TMO: "Technically the time was up, yes it was."

Nigel Owens: "I don't need technically. I need to know was the time up when the ball went over the posts?"

TMO: "The clock was on 79:57 when the ball went over. However, I will repeat. When you asked for the clock to be put on we were unable to do so on the TV."

Owens: "So the time is over, you're telling me?"

TMO: "The time is over, yes."

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An incredible achievement by Rob Baxter and his men! 🏆

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