No complaints from Ireland over maul call
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.”