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Maro Itoje’s smirk caught on camera after controversial England trial

It was the smile that said it all.

Maro Itoje had gotten away with one and it proved to be a pivotal moment in Wales’ dramatic 23-19 loss to England.

The controversial incident happened just two minutes into the second half of the big Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

It was 12-0 for the home side at the time, with Marcus Smith picking up four penalties.

Wales had a defensive line-up at five yards. The plan would have been to clear their lines and get on the pitch.

But Ryan Elias’ shot flew over the lineout and straight into the hands of Alex Dombrandt who happily accepted the gift as he produced a fine finish, stretching to score.

We were wondering what happened because the ball went way over Adam Beard and no player in red came to take it on the field.

You could see the Welsh players gesturing about something, Elias calling on referee Mike Adamson to perform a TMO check and Beard also arguing a point.

The problem was not immediately apparent and the incident was not investigated by officials as the try was valid.

But after the game, coach Wayne Pivac made his point clear.

He was adamant that Beard had been ejected from the roster, an offense that should have seen the score ruled out.

“We are disappointed with the trial. If we had had the opportunity to review what happened during the line-up, I don’t think it would have been granted,” he said.

“(Beard) was chased down the lineout and banged up, which you can’t do, but he wasn’t recovered and the try stands.

“It’s just a shame it wasn’t picked up. But looking at the replay we saw, there was a breach there.”

These replays indeed suggest that Wales have a case.

They appear to show Maro Itoje subtly elbowing Beard with his right arm, hitting the Ospreys lock to the side and hindering his jump causing the ball to fly over him.

As the footage rolls by, after Smith’s sideline conversion attempt fails, the cameras catch another telling moment.

It shows Itoje with a wide smile on his face as he shares a moment with Ellis Genge.

This try gave England a 17-0 lead and although Wales rallied with three touchdowns, they ultimately lost by four points.

All of this makes the five points racked up by Dombrandt’s controversial score all the more relevant.

It was a topic of conversation on social media after the game, with various people commenting on Itoje’s actions and his subsequent smile.

One person tweeted: “Watch the aerial replay. Very sneakily runs into Beard as he prepares to jump. No wonder he can’t jump. Clear as day, Beard is nudged as he prepares to jump.

Another said: “Bet calculated by Itoje. Knew what he was doing crossing Beard to prevent the jump. Good laugh with Genge about getting away with reruns. I couldn’t believe his luck.

Another tweeter added, “You could tell by the smirks of Itoje and Genge that they ran away with something fishy.”

And another commented: “Itoje blocks the jumper preventing Beard from going up. Terrible officer.”

So what did England manager Eddie Jones think of all this?

When asked if Beard was pushed, he replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about man.

“You will have to ask the referee. I really don’t know buddy.

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