Wales beat Ireland 19-13 with one of the most controversial tries in recent Championship history. Midway through the second half Matthew Rees took a quick line out throw near halfway to Mike Phillips, for the Ospreys scrum-half to sprint down the touchline and score a great try! But the ball Rees used for the quick throw-in was not the one kicked out by Jonathan Sexton so contravening Law 19.2d. The differnt ball was in fact thrown to Rees by a ball boy while the original ball flew into the crowd.
To the credit of referee Jonathan Kaplan (who knew there was a problem) he asked touch judge Peter Allen if Wales had used the same ball. To which Allen replied: ‘Yes’. Who knows why has he couldn’t have known!
The try decided the game and has renewed the calls for the increased use of the Television Match Official, who must now be allowed to adjudicate on all issues in the phase that led to the try, unlike the current situation when he can only adjudicate on incidents in the act of try scoring.
The rest of the game was significant for the way Wales were able to win ugly and grind out a victory. James Hook’s kicking display was world-class and he controlled the game superbly for the Welsh.
To see highlights of the game click here – UK only unfortunately. The video shows the incident clearly.
Wales (9) 19
Try: Phillips Con: Hook Pens: Hook 4
Ireland (13) 13
Try: O’Driscoll Con: O’Gara Pens: O’Gara 2
Wales: 15-Lee Byrne, 14-Leigh Halfpenny, 13-Jamie Roberts, 12-Jonathan Davies, 11-Shane Williams, 10-James Hook, 9-Mike Phillips; 1-Paul James, 2-Matthew Rees (captain), 3-Craig Mitchell, 4-Bradley Davies, 5-Alun Wyn Jones, 6-Dan Lydiate, 7-Sam Warburton, 8-Ryan Jones.
Replacements: Yapp for Mitchell (13), J Thomas for R Jones (60), Hibbard for Rees (72).
Not Used: McCusker, Peel, S Jones, Stoddart.
Ireland: 15-Luke Fitzgerald, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 12-Gordon D’Arcy, 11-Keith Earls, 10-Ronan O’Gara, 9-Eoin Reddan; 1-Cian Healy, 2-Rory Best, 3-Mike Ross, 4-Donncha O’Callaghan, 5-Paul O’Connell, 6-Sean O’Brien, 7-David Wallace, 8-Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Stringer for Reddan (1), Sexton for O’Gara (49), Court for Ross (69), Leamy for Heaslip (69), P Wallace for Fitzgerald (72), Cronin for Best (76), Cullen for O’Callaghan (76).
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Touch judges: Craig Joubert (South Africa) & Peter Allan (Scotland)
TV: Geoff Warren (England)