Ireland have gotten their first win of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations, defeating Scotland at Murrayfield on a scoreline of 22-13. It was a war of attrition for much of the match, but Ireland were ultimately able to take the sting out of the game in the closing period.
It was a well deserved victory for the visitors, but some members of the Scottish camp were not happy directly after the final whistle. Captain Greg Laidlaw was interviewed by the BBC on the pitch directly after the match, and when asked if handling errors played a big part in their loss, he was quick to point out the influence of French referee had on the game.
"He doesn't seem to like us,"
Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw wasn't impressed with the performance of referee Romain Poite after his side were beaten by Ireland in the #SixNations.
Continuing #SCOvIRE reaction 👉 https://t.co/BkHCpGp693#bbcrugby #SixNations2019 pic.twitter.com/U11h6fBM0f
— BBC Rugby Union (@bbcrugbyunion) February 9, 2019
Yeah it certainly doesn't help against a good team like Ireland, but there were frustrating things as well. Romain Poite picked us up in the middle of the field, Sean O'Brien reefed the ball out and he's given a knock-on and it's right on front of him.
He dosent seem to like us Romain. He refereed us against South Africa as well, and we don't seem to see eye to eye, so.
While we're not going to blame him, we've got to look at ourselves, and again credit to Ireland.
The BBC studio were shocked by Laidlaw's comments, with presenter John Inverdale noting that it was "very unusual to hear a captain, or any player actually on the field of play, criticise a referee like that".
They did go on to point out a couple of instances of questionable refereeing from Poite, where he played what seemed like needlessly long periods of advantage for Ireland. On both occasions Ireland made 25-30 yards of progress up the pitch, only for the play to be brought back for the original infringement when a mistake was made.
This irked the Scots, and Inverdale seemed baffled by the calls:
There were a couple of instances here where an offence was committed, and the play went on so long afterwards, with Ireland having genuine scoring opportunities on both occasions, and yet the referee ultimately went back to the original infringement... That is crazy bonkers isn't it?
Paul O'Connell, who was part of the BBC panel, noted that French referees have a habit of playing long advantage periods, although he personally did not agree with the decisions.
A lot of the French referees will play a long advantage and go back for it. It's something we debated, and probably agreed with Andy that it was probably advantage over. Ireland got out of jail there twice.
Regardless, this did not have a major impact on the outcome of the game. Ireland were deserving winners, and will be hoping to kick on from this performance ahead of the trip to Italy in two weeks.