Ref's mea culpa ahead of final round
REACTION: Matchday referee Mathieu Raynal has admitted he got the scrums wrong during England and Ireland’s Round Four Six Nations clash last weekend.
Both sides were left miffed around Raynal’s handling of the scrums.
Eddie Jones had claimed after the match that England’s scrum dominance was not rewarded, while many in Ireland claimed that England had been scrummaging illegally and got away with it.
“I’m a bit disappointed the referee didn’t allow us to scrum fully. That would be my only complaint – we were not allowed to play advantage away from the scrum. We got four scrum penalties and there was no sign of a yellow card,” Jones said.
“We want to have a powerful scrum and if World Rugby want to have the scrum in the game they have got to allow the strong scrums to dominate. We are disappointed we didn’t get more out of that.”
Farrell on the other hand had said that Ireland would ‘liaise with the right channels’ over England’s alleged illegality.
The debate around the set-piece continued this week, with former players and referees all giving their two cents on the matter, with some claiming that England loosehead Ellis Genge was wheeling.
Retired refereeing great Nigel Owens wrote: “It [the scrum] hasn’t been refereed strong enough and is taking too much time to set up, especially after a reset.
“We haven’t seen any game where the scrum has been an important area of attack or shown clear dominance by a team. We saw that with England against Ireland, although I thought a couple of those decisions should have gone Ireland’s way.
“I think refereeing of the scrum needs to be worked on, but players need to bring a better attitude to it as well.”
Now, according to the Ireland camp, Raynal has issued a mea culpa to them over the set-piece behind closed doors.
“There were a lot of talking points and lessons learned from the weekend,” said Ireland No.8 Jack Conan.
“The referee has come back and said a few decisions went against us when they shouldn’t have.
“But that’s rugby and those things happen. It’s always a good learning curve and we’ll be better for it.”
“I know the lads in the front row pride themselves around their bits in the scrum so they were pretty disheartened about it.”
Ireland now hosts Scotland in the Aviva Stadium, while simultaneously hoping England can upset Fabien Galthie’s Les Bleus at the Stade de France.
“But it will just make us better this weekend for it and I think they are excited for the challenge and to right the few wrongs from Twickenham and end on a high.”