Referee Mathieu Raynal puts Sexton in his place after TMO mess 1 month ago

Referee Mathieu Raynal puts Sexton in his place after TMO mess

"Thank you very much. End of discussion."

Mathieu Raynal and Johnny Sexton were not seeing eye-to-eye at Stadio Olimpico.

Ireland looked to have scored an early try against Italy, in Rome, this afternoon but a combination of the French referee and Romain Poite, his Television Match Official, left their players, and millions of TV viewers, perplexed.

Ireland ploughed forward after a bold Ronan Kelleher lineout dart and, after Hugo Keenan went close, Iain Henderson looked to have done enough for the opening try.

The Ulster lock was stopped just shy of the whitewash, but extended a long arm and looked to have got enough downward pressure on the ball to score.

As it transpired, Raynal called it as Henderson losing the ball forward. Italy winger Monty Ioane played on and kicked the ball clear, but Ireland were convinced the had scored. Both Henderson and Sexton, the Ireland captain, called on the referee to check with his TMO.

Raynal was short and not so sweet with Sexton before getting on with the game.

"You can ask me questions and I will give you the answer. We checked in the background. My TMO has checked and he says he (Henderson) has lost control of the ball. Thank you very much. End of discussion."

Advertisement

Ultimately, the call did not hold back Ireland too much as Garry Ringrose got over for their first try just a couple of minutes later.

That was not the only time, though, that Raynal was curt with Sexton during the first half:

Ireland punched over for a second try, after 30 minutes, when Ringrose's offload to Hugo Keenan unlocked the Italian defence. Jordan Larmour then put Will Connors over, in the corner, as Andy Farrell's side stretched clear.

Sexton and Raynal have some previous, as both have been at the upper echelons of the game for the past decade. Back in 2019, Sexton felt Wales outhalf Dan Biggar had pulled the wool over the Frenchman's eyes by claiming he had not scored a try in the corner to distract from him being offside when he intercepted a pass.