Its a gane of strategy, if slowing it down works, and within the rules then do it.
- When the ball has been clearly won by a team at the ruck, and is available to be played, the referee calls “use it”, after which the ball must be played away from the ruck within five seconds. Sanction: Scrum.
Owens barely called this in the ENG game and it let them dictate the pace, which was a slow grind and crowding the hit-up area. It's a rule that exists specifically to stop one team from slowing play down to a crawl.
Barnes actually policed it (possibly an outcome of the match review from the English game?) and all of a sudden the game was much more free-flowing.
This is the problem with the rules - they are there, but refs seem to be so inconsistent in applying them and it can (and does) hand a massive advantage to certain teams. It shouldn't be on the other team to find a way around a ref not correctly applying rules to their opposition.