England and Saracens captain Owen Farrell has been supported for his exchange with World Cup referee Luke Pearce in his club’s match against Bristol Bears on Saturday.
Farrell’s brief conversation with the English match official came in the 54th minute of their Premiership clash at StoneX Stadium when Saracens were awarded a penalty.
However, things turned slightly heated when the playmaker raised to Pearce that it was the third time that the visiting Bears had infringed at a maul in the close-fought contest.
Rude or not?
“That’s three at the maul,” Farrell was overheard saying to the referee, to which Pearce sarcastically replied, “thanks, I can count.” That visibly frustrated the Red Rose fly-half.
Farrell did not like the Rugby World Cup official’s response and promptly said to Pearce, “don’t be rude to me, there’s no need to be rude to me,” before he fired the ball to touch.
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Despite the high-scoring and entertaining contest, much of the talk in the aftermath of the domestic fixture has centred on the exchange between Farrell and referee Pearce.
“Honestly this is fair enough from Farrell. Respect goes both ways,” wrote Three Red Kings on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, in support of the international 10.
Matt Hardy wrote on X: “Like this from Farrell. Sass only provokes sass,” while Ross Hancock added on the platform, “Can I shock you? I actually think Farrell has a point.”
It was a fixture to forget for England skipper Farrell from the kicking tee as he missed six shots at goal on Saturday, which is a first in the playmaker’s professional career.
Fortunately for the Saracens fly-half it didn’t cost his side victory as they now turn their attention to another Premiership home game, against Northampton, next weekend.
Following that clash with the Saints, Saracens’ Champions Cup campaign kicks off on Saturday, December 9 with a tricky trip to Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria to face the Bulls.
They will then fly home to tackle Connacht before reverting back to Premiership duty.