Irish fans fuming as Scott Barrett allowed play on after Peter O'Mahony head-shot 1 month ago

Irish fans fuming as Scott Barrett allowed play on after Peter O'Mahony head-shot

'Classic Scott Barrett,' one fan remarked. 'Has to be a citing.'

English referee Karl Dickson was standing two metres away as New Zealand flanker Scott Barrett jumped the gun and drove his shoulder into the head of Peter O'Mahony.

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A penalty eventually came Ireland's way, but Barrett was allowed to play on. O'Mahony, Ireland's captain after Johnny Sexton had left the fray with another concussion, questioned the call but Dickson - a former Harlequins scrumhalf - was not interested in seeing replays.

Ireland lost 42-19 to a ruthless, rampant All Blacks side, at Eden Park, and even a Barrett yellow or, more appropriately, red card would not have made much of a difference. New Zealand were best and it would be too kind to even say Ireland were second best.

While there could be no arguments about the result, in Auckland, Irish supporters felt a few clear knock-ons from the hosts were ignored, and that a penalty try was denied when Rieko Ioane made 'a seatbelt tackle' around the shoulder of Joey Carbery to prevent a score.

Such issues often arise in rugby and, it can be argued, calls even themselves out over time. There can be no excuse for Karl Dickson seeing that Barrett tackle on O'Mahony and deeming it not worthy of a card:

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Scott Barrett plays on

Asked about the incident, which happened in the closing stages, Karl Dickson said he felt the tackle was to O'Mahony's body.

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As it transpired, Scott Barrett was allowed top play on. He ended up playing the full 80 minutes as he sunk 20 tackles in a First Test win that puts Ireland firmly on the back foot.

There was plenty of online debate about that Scott Barrett incident with O'Mahony, with former England and Lions lock Ben Kay calling the Crusaders captain a 'lucky boy'.

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Peter O'Mahony played on, too, and was on the pitch as the final whistle sounded. It was a thumping 23-point win and Ireland have physical and mental wounds to heal before the Second Test.