Scotland Make Wayne Barnes Plea Ahead Of Ireland Game

Ireland is that you?

This time last year Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby urged referee Wayne Barnes to focus on the legality of Wales’ tactics at the breakdown ahead of their Six Nations clash at the Principality.

The English referee was highly criticised for his interpretation of the rolling away law at the breakdown when the two sides met in the Six Nations in Cardiff back in 2015. Barnes twice penalised Ireland on the Welsh line, when a maul collapsed en-route to the line and later when a scrum collapsed.

“In the contact area there’s a lot going on for a referee. We’re not saying we want everything to be picked up, just consistency,” Easterby said.

This year it seems it’s Scotland’s turn to make their plea to Barnes. They have urged the Englishman and his assistants to police Ireland’s control of the clock to allow them play a high-tempo game on Saturday.

The comments come in light of Wales coach Warren Gatland suggesting that the relatively low ball-in-play time of 32 minutes and 57 seconds was a major factor in his side’s 37-27 loss a fortnight ago.

“I saw that article,” Scotland assistant coach Mike Blair said

“We like to keep the ball in play a lot. International teams look for areas of weakness but also adapt to what is going on. Ireland will know we like a high-tempo game and I’m sure they will have ways to prevent that.

“We are trying to play a good brand of rugby and I hope the officials appreciate what we’re trying to do.”

[Independent.ie]