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'Lucky boy' - Questionable Scott Barrett incident under the spotlight

By Ian Cameron
Scott Barrett of New Zealand receives a lineout throw during the International test Match in the series between the New Zealand All Blacks and Ireland at Eden Park on July 02, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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A questionable clearout by Scott Barrett in the dying moments of the All Blacks‘ emphatic victory over Ireland in Auckland could see the back row facing a possible citing.

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Barrett appeared to connect with the neck and head of Ireland’s Peter O’Mahoney with the men in green camped on New Zealand’s try line in the 74th minute.

Barrett was penalised for a no-arms hit which the referee thought was to the body, but replays suggest that the Crusader was very lucky indeed.

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Former England second row Ben Kay picked up on the incident, as did many others on social media.

Journalist Jamie Lyall wrote: “How is Scott Barrett not getting a card for that shot on O’Mahony?”

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One account observed: “Had niggling doubt about the SA TMO interpretations earlier. But not even calling attention of Ref to Barret no arms shoulder on O’Mahony? Have the laws changed, is this not dangerous play and usually called for a red card anymore?”

A card for the incident certainly wouldn’t have affected the result, with the All Blacks having built up a scoreboard chasm between the sides.

It had started relatively brightly for the Irish.

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Keith Earls scored his 35th international try inside six minutes as Andy Farrell’s side flew out of the blocks at a sold-out Eden Park on Saturday, but things swiftly unravelled on a punishing evening.

Ardie Savea claimed two of the ruthless All Blacks’ six scores, with Jordie Barrett, Sevu Reece, Quinn Tupaea and debutant Pita Gus Sowakula also crossing.

Influential five-eighth Sexton was forced off in the aftermath of Reece’s breakaway try and later failed a head injury assessment to compound a miserable outing.

Ireland, who made the scoreline more respectable thanks to second-half scores from Garry Ringrose and New Zealand-born Bundee Aki, paid a heavy price for repeated defensive lapses and face an uphill task to salvage the series.

Victory for the physical hosts avenged November’s 29-20 defeat in Dublin and maintained their impressive 28-year unbeaten run in a stadium which has become a fortress.

Ireland head coach Farrell also saw Joey Carbery and Josh Van Der Flier each denied certain tries by superb interventions from All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane.

The Englishman must quickly galvanise his dispirited squad ahead of next week’s meeting in Dunedin,┬áthe second in the three-match series, for which he is likely to be without Sexton.

additional reporting AAP

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