Scotland coach Andy Robinson last night questioned some of referee Nigel Owens’ decisions following yesterday’s 21-18 RBS Six Nations defeat to Ireland at Murrayfield.
Robinson queried why, having conceded only four penalties all afternoon, Scotland had a player — loosehead Allan Jacobsen — sin-binned, while Ireland, who gave away a total of 13, escaped similar punishment. “There’s a number of issues. Firstly, the high Irish penalty count and no sin-bins and their ability to slow the ball down, illegally,” he said.
“Secondly, I thought the scrums just after half-time, when we’ve got the Irish going backwards and there’s a penalty against us and then in the next scrum our prop is sin-binned, were a major turning point of the game,” Robinson said.
“We were just about to get on top of the Irish and to lose a player like that is pretty hard to come back from.”
The Scottish coach also suggested that the legality of one of Ireland’s three tries was dubious.
“Ross Ford gives a pass — some might call it a tip-on pass — to the supporting runner. I felt it got knocked down by an Irish hand and the referee says ‘play on’. And ‘play on’ ends up in our half, we turn a line-out over, suddenly we’re defending on our line — seven points scored,” was Robinson’s view of Jamie Heaslip’s fifth minute opener.
Admitting that it is his intention to speak to the match referee about those crucial decisions Robinson added: “It’s probably best that I don’t at the moment. I will try and see him. He’s made those calls and I want to know why.
“It certainly had an effect on the game, I think it’s fair to say.”
Asked what he had to say to the referee as the players left the pitch at half-time, Robinson revealed: “What I asked him was if there were any issues with our team? He said ‘no’.”