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The Andy Farrell reaction to the TMO calls that went against Ireland

By Liam Heagney
Ireland's Josh van der Flier, Ryan Baird (centre) and Garry Ringrose react to their loss in Pretoria (Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Andy Farrell has given his reaction to a frustrating 20-27 defeat for Ireland on Saturday evening in Pretoria, suggesting his team were potentially on the wrong end of some “dubious” TMO decisions. Ireland had a James Lowe try cancelled that would have levelled the match on 58 minutes, but a TMO review decided that Ronan Kelleher should instead be penalised for a ruck infringement.


The TMO was again involved eight minutes later, ruling against Lowe after he attempted to keep a Handre Pollard touchfinder in play. He did keep it in play and Cheslin Kolbe took advantage of the resulting slack Irish support to score, but the big screen debate was whether Lowe had a foot in touch and the decision should have been a lineout.

Ireland also suggested they were unhappy with the tackle that resulted in Craig Casey getting taken away on a medical cart. Asked what he thought of the TMO interventions which went against Ireland, Farrell said: “It’s not for me to say but I saw quite a few of them live and they had a dubious thought about it but anyway, that’s life.

“We will go through the right channels and make sure we do things properly as far as those things are concerned. You’ll make of it what you want. We have to go through the right channels. Unlucky, lucky, that’s the game as well.”

Switching to the try scored by Kolbe, Farrell reckoned: “It was a special play by Kolbe to chase that ball and it’s one of the reasons why the won the World Cup with him chasing down the kicker in France, but we were slack not backing James up.


Penalties Conceded
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“You’ll make your own decision on whether he still had the ball in his right hand or whether the ball hit him as he threw it back into field and his foot was in touch. That’s for us all to debate. It is what it is, that is the sport, it’s difficult to referee. You just want consistency, that’s all. Sometimes it’s goes for you and sometimes it doesn’t. You’ll make your own decision on the Craig thing.”

Lowe went on to be involved in the play that gifted South Africa a late scrum from which they scored a penalty try and had Kelleher yellow carded. Farrell said it was an error by his winger to play the ball instead of letting it run dead but in the same breath he also defended Lowe.


“It’s an error, an error and I have no doubt that James will put his hand up to that. It’s fool’s gold really. Some of the kick offs as well in the first half, Craig caught and we ended up 20 metres out from our line. If you have got the courage to let it bounce it probably goes dead but at the same time if it bounces up you will look stupid, so we don’t know what could have happened either way really.”

Farrell’s overall take on the game was that Ireland didn’t fire in the first half and words were had at the break. “It had a little bit of everything, the unexpected was popping up at times and that was the game in the end. South Africa deserved to win the game, so congratulations to them.

“First half I thought we were off. I thought was gave away access for them to be able to play their game. Defensively we were a bit passive, certainly for the first try. But then the story of the game for me after some words at half time, I thought it was courageous at times how we defended and got ourselves into the game. In fact it is the make-up of this team.

“History would say that even with the type of performance in the first half we hung on in there and we don’t go away. There is plenty of teams that would have been under the pump in the first half and got the game run away with in the second half and we didn’t, we stayed in the fight and could have, should have, would have at times with some decisions that rightly or wrongly didn’t go our way.”




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Flankly 15 days ago

“You’ll make your own decision on whether he still had the ball in his right hand or whether the ball hit him as he threw it back into field and his foot was in touch”

An easier decision is whether or not you should be trying to slap a loose ball in front of a player like Kolbe, especially when you know he will be chasing the kick.

World 15 days ago

I wonder if Luke Pearce and Ben Whitehouse had a little wager at Paddy Power before the match.

Toaster 15 days ago

Dan on here is getting it in the neck isn’t he? 🤣

GrahamVF 15 days ago

The game was a huge advertisement for rugby union. Two very good teams both played their hearts out. Ireland were unlucky on a few occasions but for me the standout defining factor was the penalty try. That was possibly the most dominant in top level international rugby for many years. The other standout for me was that it seems that the roles have been reversed. South Africa get the ball wide time after time while Irelandcerre Ireland were bashing up the middle. The other notable thing is how Ireland defended. Some of those Bok attacks which Ireland quelled would have ended in tries against many other international teams. Well done to both teams for an incredible game of rugby which could have gone either way. Hard luck Ireland you played it bloody well. Well done Boks you rode your luck - and your scrum.

Shaun 15 days ago

As a Springbok supporter, I have 2 Points of concerne.

1- We let too many oppertunities slip, and it so almost came back to bight us. Against Ireland and the all blacks especially, you can not under any circumstances get so close tho their try line and not convert it into points. Nothing against any teams, but most other teams play off momentum, Ireland and the all blacks can come back to win a game that has already been lost.If you in their 22, you atleast need a 3 pointer.

Point 2- Out of the 3 tries Ireland scored, Jerry will likely be extremely pissed about 2, their first and 3rd. Those really slipped and we should have done more to make them hard to score.

I like the shape of our new attack, I hope it will still improve, but we still have a problem of starting great, then seem to run out of ideas when we right be the try line.

I will take this win, but I do feel we had some luck on our side, We have our work cut out for us in Durban.

Lets hope its just signs of a new defense and attack system that will dominate once we get it right.

To the Irish, be proud, your guys rugby team is seriously an amazing team at the moment, keep your head up with pride!

Jon 16 days ago

It was a terrible show for the most part from the NH contingent controlling the games. Next week when, I assume, the controllers are, in turn, from the SH the games should be much better. Much less pedantic.

Why is the game/kicker being stopped all the time as well? They changed the law so that the decisions/try can be overturned up until the restart. Let the kicker kcik and the TMO make the call in the background, and of course, if it’s not clear that it should be overtuned in that time, then it obviously should not be looked at any further.

I expected the other half of the Kiwi contingent to turn up and be a key this game, but Bundee was quite, it was a one man job for Lowe to win Ireland that game, and unfortunately he was cruely denied. Ireland had a good run, and I think they will continue to stay near the top 3 or 4 teams and push them in most games. Maybe when another generation comes they will have a better chance? But with only 160 pros it is very much an uphill battle.

Barry 16 days ago

I've no issue with most of them but Lowe’s chalked off try to make it 13-13 on 60 mins was a brutal call.

Totally missed that Kelleher was in the process of getting his neck rolled by le roux when he marginally made contact with the ball via his leg.

Boks never looked like losing though.

Liam 16 days ago

Outrageous call by the refs penalizing this Irish team. Has no one told them the Irish are the best team on the planet and have been for years. How dare they

Rob 16 days ago

As an Irish fan I’ve no problem with any of the tmo calls at all. The two contentious ones I feel being Casey and Lowe, in Casey’s case on replay it’s just an unfortunate rebound off the ground that got him, you could question the timing but when it’s in slo mo it’s hard to tell if RG was committed plus they’re club mates doubt he wanted to injure him. In Lowes case I do think he touched the ball while his foot was on the ground with his right hand but unfortunately it’s not the refs job to infer it they need to see it and the angle just didn’t exist so it is what it is, South Africa might’ve scored anyway who knows.

I do take issue with a lot of his small calls though and the lack of TMO intervention we were promised. These days half of Le Rouxs passes seem to be a mile forward and there was one blatant one I was annoyed wasn’t called. Also in the opening minutes De Klerk very clearly knocked the ball on at the base of the ruck and Pearse was staring right at it and didn’t call it, I think they scored two phases later which is pretty frustrating, a lot of blatant sealing off as well but sure of course I’ll notice that you know yourselves. You don’t need to comment telling me about how us Irish are actually dirty cheats I’m sure he missed stuff we did too but from an Irish perspective it did seem like the two of them were doing their best to not be the next big stars in a Rassie expose 👀

Either way it was a good game in spite of all that and it was very good to see us stay in the fight even when we went two scores down, Jamie Osbourne did really well at Fullback although a few kinks need ironing, I could see him being used now to give Lowe or Keenan breaks as physically he matches Lowes profile with the big left boot and solid frame.

Well done South Africa on a great win hopefully we get one back on you next week!

Gary 16 days ago

I thought a few things were overlooked by the TMO…..But Ireland in the first half just weren't good enough. Congrats to SA they always find a way to grind out a win.

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