No com­plaints from Ire­land over maul call

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CARDIFF: Ref­eree Wayne Barnes played a key role in an­other Ir­ish de­feat in the Six Na­tions rugby cham­pi­onship but this time there were no com­plaints from Ire­land coach Joe Sch­midt about his han­dling of the match fol­low­ing Wales’ 22-9 win on Fri­day.

With about 10 min­utes left to play, Ire­land were driv­ing to­wards the Welsh line and looked set to cross over for a try that would have given them the chance to re­take the lead.

How­ever, Barnes ruled Ire­land cen­tre Rob­bie Hen­shaw had joined a maul in front of the ball car­rier and blew for a penalty, dash­ing the vis­i­tors hopes of a come­back.

English­man Barnes had been a ma­jor fac­tor in Ire­land’s de­feat on their last visit to Wales two years ago when he re­peat­edly pe­nalised them at the break­down for tack­lers not rolling away.

Ire­land coach Sch­midt said Barnes had made the right call at the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium on Fri­day.

“Wayne Barnes was on the spot, you can’t join the maul in front of the ball,” he said. “Did it have a ma­te­rial ef­fect? I don’t know. I think we would have scored any­way.”

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