World Rugby Sevens: England and Argentina criticised over two-minute try

England's Will Homer
England's Will Homer waited under the posts before eventually grounding the ball

England and Argentina have been criticised over a long delay before scoring a try that helped both sides progress from their World Rugby Sevens men's group in Toulouse.

England's Will Homer ran down the clock by more than two minutes before being challenged and grounding the ball.

Argentina won the game 19-7, with the result meaning both sides progressed at Canada's expense on points difference.

Former referee Nigel Owens said it was "against the spirit of the game".

"When I was refereeing on the WR 7s circuit we would tell the player to ground the ball in this situation. I'm amazed the referee hasn't told him," added Owens.external-link

In a post on social mediaexternal-link about the incident, World Rugby Sevens said: "Unique. Bizarre. Controversial."

It added: "Time seems to stand still in Toulouse as England deliberately delay scoring the try that takes them through to the quarter-finals - and Argentina, down to six men and also going through, let them."

England Rugby declined to comment.

The controversial score occurred when England's Homer received the ball a couple of metres from his own line, dummied his way through the Argentina defensive line and raced clear.

With no Argentina defenders chasing him, he first slowed to a trot and then stood in the Argentina in-goal area holding the ball and looked to the England bench for advice on what to do.

He was advised to run down the clock and proceeded to stand there for more than two minutes, with no Argentina defender approaching him, despite encouragement - but not insistence - from the referee for either Homer to put the ball down or a defender to force him to do so.

He finally dotted the ball down with the clock having been run down significantly.

The result meant Argentina, England and Canada were all tied on seven points at the end of their Pool A games in the latest round of the World Rugby Sevens series.

It ensured Argentina finished top and second-placed England went through to the quarter-finals with them, as their points difference was four better than that of third-placed Canada.

In the last eight, England were beaten by Samoa and Argentina lost to Ireland.

The Irish subsequently beat France to reach their first ever final, where they lost 29-17 to Olympic champions Fiji.

In the women's tournament, Australia were confirmed as champions of the six-leg series despite losing 21-14 to New Zealand in the Toulouse edition final.

Fiji beat Ireland 26-10 in the bronze-medal match.

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