Rugby

Eddie O'Sullivan Surprised By Lack Of Commotion Around Lions Winning Penalty

Eddie O'Sullivan Surprised By Lack Of Commotion Around Lions Winning Penalty

There were just over three minutes left on the clock in Wellington on Saturday when Owen Farrell kicked the penalty which won the second Test for the Lions against the All Blacks.

The opportunity, which put the Lions ahead for the first time in the game, had been presented to Farrell as a result of Charlie Faumuina's tackle on Lions replacement tighthead Kyle Sinckler.

Speaking on Newstalk's Off The Ball on Tuesday, former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan said he was surprised there had not been more discussion about the penalty.

It had been awarded after Sinckler was tackled in the air by his fellow prop. Though, it was not what would usually be considered as a tackle in the air. Rather than the two contesting a high ball, Sinckler had jumped to catch a pass from Conor Murray which went slightly higher than both the passer and receiver would have liked and he was tackled by Faumuina.

O'Sullivan suggested that it was an 'anomaly' in the law.

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The funny thing was I thought there might be more blowback on the final penalty which won the test - the tackle on Kyle Sinckler. That's an anomaly in the law when you think about it because it wasn't a high ball that was kicked to him.

It was a bad pass over his head and he jumped to catch it. Kieran Read said to the referee 'why is it a penalty?' and he said 'because he played the player in the air' so Read said 'next time I'm catching a pass, if I jump no one can tackle me?' and that's an anomaly now that's come in.

If you think about it, if you're going to get hit as you get the ball - you just jump when you're catching it and the guy can't touch you. That was never the intention of the law - it was all about fielding the high ball.

I thought there may have been more discussion around that.

It was one of those ones when you saw it you go 'yeah, he's going to give a penalty here' but what was the defender to do, get out of the way and let him run through?

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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