Ireland can rightly feel aggrieved after a poor officiating error led to a controversial try in their Six Nations clash against Wales in Cardiff.
However, Ireland must have forgotten that back in November 2004 Ronan O’Gara scored his own controversial try to beat South Africa for the first time in nearly 40 years. Referee Paul Honiss had warned Springbok skipper John Smit to speak to his players about continued penalties. As the captain called his team together, O’Gara tapped and scuttled over unopposed, much to the derision of the Boks.
Fast forward seven years to the Millennium Stadium and Wales take everyone on the pitch by surprise. But did they contravene law 19.2 or was it a lineout that was quickly taken? Should Ireland have conceded a free kick for having too many players in the line out?
This was a total cock-up by the Scottish AR. But it happens. Perhaps Kaplin could have gone to the TMO (and only received the wrath of the IRB for breaking convention) rather than just take the ARs word for it – and suffering the wrath of the Irish nation!
However, a huge 3-1 overlap opened up for Ireland in the last play of the game, with a certain try to win the match. But inexorably Paddy Wallace opted to cut back inside rather than slip the ball to Keith Earls, and with that Ireland’s last chance for glory was gone.