Saturday 25 March 2017

Hook is happy to take try

James Hook shrugged off the controversy over Wales' winning try as they saw off Ireland 19-13 to extend their RBS 6 Nations winning run to three matches.

Mike Phillips was put in down the left wing by a quick line-out taken by hooker Matthew Rees in the 50th minute, after a ball-boy passed him a different ball to that kicked out of play by Jonathan Sexton.

Referee Jonathan Kaplan requested confirmation from touch judge Peter Allan, who said it was the same ball, but replays showed the officials were wrong.

"To be honest, I was calling a move to the backs and looked up and Phillsy was running down the wing," said Hook. "I didn't see it, they've maybe got a point but we'll take it, we're not going to worry about that."

Hook insisted Wales' victory was warranted despite that controversy, saying: "Ireland played superb and anyone could have won it but we fully deserve three wins in a row. We've trained really hard, put the effort in -- we're disappointed looking back to the England result, we could be four from four, but we go to France with confidence now."

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll could not have had a more polarised view of the controversial try.

"From our point of view I think everyone in the stadium knew that it was touched, whether it be by a ball boy or a supporter. It cleared the fence and I think it was thrown to Shane Williams and we went and questioned that with the ref and the touch judge and he still had the option of going to the TMO to see if it was a legitimate try or not. He just consulted his touch judge and he gave the try it just beggars belief really.

"I feel extremely disappointed I feel a bit robbed, like it was a game that shouldn't have gotten away from us in the way that it did, it was a complete momentum changer, that score that was given, I feel pretty deflated to be honest."

Asked if his side had kicked away too much ball, O'Driscoll added: "Maybe at times we did but at the same time that was part of our tactics when you are playing against a pincer defence you've got to put balls in behind them and get good kick chase, it was part of our strategy and when we look back it might have been a bit too much. Still, when we were chasing the score we may have coughed up a few errors and that didn't help us either.

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