Peter O'Mahony ref-mic comment sums up Ireland feelings towards controversial early try decision
"If they want to play with a new ball, that's their problem, not our problem." - Peter O'Mahony.
In the end, due to a questionable quirk in the rules, the new ball turned out to be Ireland's problem rather than Scotland's. Gregor Townsend's team got away with murder.
They had sent a quick line-out out the back and with Caelan Doris capitalising sublimely, Ireland were in business. From a sea of bodies, Dan Sheehan eventually got hold of it and he couldn't be stopped, the Leinster hooker dotting down just left of the posts.
The celebrations were halted instantly however as referee Luke Pearce called the play back.
He called it back because in taking that quick line-out, Scotland used a different ball to the one that Johnny Sexton had kicked out of play moments earlier. The referee and touch judge agreed that this was in breach of the rules.
So as it turned out, breaking the rules actually helped Scotland as they avoided the concession of an early try.
Ireland steal a lineout and cross for a try - but it's chalked off because Scotland used a new ball for the lineout!
📻 https://t.co/mrC9xR2nhx #RTErugby #SixNations pic.twitter.com/tuRO46IGxh
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) March 12, 2023
Ireland blindside Peter O'Mahony was fuming at these developments as that Dan Sheehan try was ruled out. O'Mahony said:
"If they want to play with a new ball, that's their problem, not our problem!"
But his appeals fell on deaf ears and the Scots dodged a bullet, and were allowed to re-take the line-out. As it turned out, this was something of a double-whammy passage of play for Ireland as, having made an acrobatic leap to catch that ball, Caelan Doris injured himself on the way down and had to be subbed moments later.
Doris wasn't the only Irish player that got injured in a bruising opening half, with both Dan Sheehan and Iain Henderson also limping off.