Remembering That Mike Phillips Try Against Ireland That Enraged A Nation


There’s 49 minutes gone at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as it was then known. Ireland are leading Wales 13-9, when replacement outhalf Johnny Sexton kicks the ball out on the full about five metres inside his own half.

Such was the force behind the kick, the ball launches in the crowd. A ball boy however, dutifully presents Wales hooker and captain Matthew Rees with a shiny new replacement ball.

All well and good, except Rees took a quick throw-in to scrumhalf Mike Phillips, who sprinted to score in the left-hand corner before Ireland’s Tommy Bowe could get back to cover.

Law 19.2

For a quick throw-in “the player must use the ball that went into touch” and “a quick throw-in is not permitted if another person has touched the ball”

Wales had robbed Ireland of a try. Assistant Peter Allan was able to advise the referee, South Africa’s Jonathan Kaplan, that the try should stand, despite pictures showing he was clearly looking infield when the ball went out.

Despite protests from captain Brian O’Driscoll for the referee to check with his TMO, the try stood. James Hook converted the try, giving Wales a 16-13 lead.

They went on to win the game 19-13. The bloody bastards.

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