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'Must have been getting a coffee' - officials off to wobbly start in Rome

By Sam Smith
Romain Poite (Photo by Ashley Western/MB Media/Getty Images)

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The standard of the officiating in the opening minutes of Italy and Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations game in Rome has been ridiculed on social media.


An apparent try by Ireland second row Iain Henderson wasn’t awarded by referee Mathieu Raynard even when referred to Television Match Official (TMO) Romain Poite. Henderson was clearly not pleased having asked Raynard to review the call.

The ball bounced out of his hand after he appeared to touch it down over the line, which was spotted by just about the entire internet, but not the officials in Rome.

Former Ireland number 8 Jamie Heaslip tweeted: “I’m still confused how they missed Henderson try!?! Direct and quick play from Ireland in the opening exchanges.”


Former England flyhalf Andy Goode wrote on Twitter: “Romain Poite being Romain Poite on TMO duty and missing a clear try for Henderson!! Must have been getting a coffee.”


It didn’t stop Ireland scoring a few minutes later through centre Garry Ringrose.

Italy, who made a late change to their team with Callum Braley replacing Stephen Varney at scrum-half, started brightly and went 3-0 ahead in the fourth minute thanks to a Paolo Garbisi penalty.

The lead lasted just two minutes as returning Ireland captain Sexton converted a penalty at the other end.

Ireland arrived in Rome to take on Italy on the back of their worst start to a Guinness Six Nations campaign.

Andy Farrell’s side have scored a tournament-low two tries in defeats by Wales and France.

Head coach Farrell made seven changes to the team beaten by Les Bleus on February 14, including recalling skipper Johnny Sexton and vice-captain James Ryan following head injuries.

Hosts Italy, who have named an unchanged starting XV following the 41-18 loss to England, have not won a championship game for six years and will be hoping to avoid a 30th successive defeat in the competition.

– additional reporting PA


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