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Controversial Welsh Try In 2011 Still Lives On In The Memory Of D'Arcy & Byrne

Controversial Welsh Try In 2011 Still Lives On In The Memory Of D'Arcy & Byrne
By Jonathan Browne

There's many memories from Ireland's showdowns against Wales in the Six Nations.

It was in Cardiff where Ronan O'Gara slotted the drop goal to win the grand slam in 2009 and Jacob Stockdale's interception at the death secured Ireland a crucial victory for another Grand Slam in 2018. However, not all memories are as rosy for Ireland as those two.

Rewind back to 2011, Ireland are still on the high of the first Grand Slam in 60 years and there's a new kid on the block, Jonathan Sexton, who's battling it out with the great Ronan O'Gara for the starting 10 jersey. They came into the match against Wales off the back of a narrow victory over Scotland and were in with a chance of winning the championship.

Ireland came out of the gates firing in the Millenium Stadium, with Brian O'Driscoll scoring a try after two minutes and ROG kicking over two penalties in an impressive first half performance for Ireland. James Hook and Leigh Halfpenny slotted over a few penalties for Wales to make it a 13-9 lead to the boys in green at half-time.

However, momentum switched after half-time and substitute Sexton kicked the ball out on the full around the 50th minute. While many were preparing for a lineout Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips caught the ball off a quick lineout from Welsh captain Matthew Rees and ran into the corner to give Wales their first lead of the game.


It was a hugely controversial moment as Phillips shouldn't have been allowed to take a quick lineout because a different ball to the one Sexton kicked was used to take the throw, something that is not allowed under the rules.


Nonetheless, referee Jonathan Kaplan awarded the try despite it being obvious that Matthew Rees had used a new ball given to him by the ballboy on the replays. It caused huge uproar in Ireland as Wales went on to win the game 19-13 and ruling out any chances of Ireland winning the Six Nations championship or Triple Crown.

It's still a moment that annoys many Irish rugby fans to this day, including former Ireland and Lions centre Gordon D'Arcy. D'Arcy along with former Wales international Lee Byrne were speaking on The Takeaway in the buildup to this weekend's game and when asked about his memories of playing Wales, the first moment that came to mind was the Phillips try.

I just remember you guys cheating in 2011, pretty much robbing us of a championship, we did all the hard yards. Phillsy (Mike Phillips) threw in a ball that he wasn't allowed to throw in and the ref just bottled it under all the Welsh pressure and gave a try that wasn't there.

It's a moment that's always brought up when these two sides face off and the moment that Mike Phillips is probably most well-known for in Ireland.

He laughs it up though, according to Lee Byrne and loves having his yearly exchange with former Ospreys teammate Tommy Bowe.

I think Mike is still living off that nearly 10 years later. I see a tweet go out to Tommy Bowe every year or every other year of that quick throw-in, he tagged himself in. But I see Tommy's come back at him with a good reply!

It wasn't all bad for Ireland that year as the next week they would beat England 24-8 at the Aviva Stadium to prevent England from winning a Grand Slam.

You can watch the full interview with Gordon D'Arcy and Lee Byrne on The Takeaway with Chicago Town on the Balls.ie Youtube channel.



SEE ALSO: Six Nations Fixtures And Results: Your Tournament Guide

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