Ireland emerged as bonus point winners over England at Twickenham yesterday, although it is fair to say that they did struggle at times against a team who played with 14 men for essentially the entire contest.
That was especially true in the scrum. Andy Farrell's team were continually penalised in this area, conceding a number of penalties. In fact, it was perhaps a slight surprise that referee Mathieu Raynal did not produce a yellow card at some point considering how often he pulled the Irish up on their scrummaging.
Speaking after the game, Eddie Jones suggested that Ireland were fortunate to keep 15 men on the pitch.
I’m a bit disappointed the referee didn’t allow us to scrum fully.
That would be my only complaint. And we weren’t allowed to play advantage away from the scrum.
We got four scrum penalties and there was no sign of a yellow card. If World Rugby wants to have a scrum in the game they have got to allow strong scrums to allow themselves to dominate. We’re a bit disappointed we didn’t get a lot more out of that mate.
However, some viewed it in an entirely different manner.
While Ireland did concede a large number penalties at the scrum, some felt a few of them were very harsh. Former Ireland prop Mike Ross fell firmly into that category.
Not really understanding the scrum decisions. Whole thing is just wheeling around, no clear dominance#ENGvIRE
— Mike Ross (@MikeRoss03) March 12, 2022
As it turns out, so does Nigel Owens.
Responding to Ross' tweet, the Welshman said that Ireland themselves should have had a couple of penalties in this area due to some questionable scrummaging from the English.
I was at the game so didn't have the benefit of replays but this would be my view on it also. A number of legitimate penalties, but several that weren't.
— Mike Ross (@MikeRoss03) March 13, 2022
This would certainly push back on Eddie Jones' claims that Ireland received some favourable treatment in the scrum, with a former world class referee saying that they were actually treated rather harshly in this area by the officials.
Regardless, there could be little argument that Ireland came out deserved winners in the end.