Saturday 24 March 2018

Pinged at Murrayfield: The penalty count

2nd minute: From an offside position Paul O'Connell attempts to pick up ball spilled by Luke Fitzgerald. It was the intent that did for him (Donncha O'Callaghan successfully took evasive action).

Verdict: Avoidable

9: Luke Fitzgerald not releasing after tackle. Normally players get away with this -- he was actually presenting the ball -- but kept his hands on longer than feasible.

Verdict: Avoidable

16: Cian Healy picked up for lazy running back from a ruck. He would have gotten away with it had he not rejoined the defensive line from offside position.

Verdict: Easily avoidable

17: Rory Best and Seán O'Brien off their feet at a tackle.

Verdict: On another day it would have been let go

17: Jamie Heaslip drags John Barclay (acting scrumhalf) into a ruck. Why? Nigel Owens goes on red alert.

Verdict: Easily avoidable

24: Mike Ross done for binding issue at scrum. We never got to see evidence here but with over three minutes already spent on this scrum alone Owens just wanted to get away. So he was going to ping somebody. Anybody.

Verdict: A bad call

32: Rory Best assists in a tackle and doesn't release player before going back in to poach the ball. Hot topic this.

Verdict: Easily avoidable

36: Ronan O'Gara holds on after being gang tackled having received from a ruck close to Scotland line.

Verdict: Fair call but without support it was hard to avoid the penalty

46: Cian Healy done for not binding at scrum. He had done well to regain the bind after losing it on initial hit.

Verdict: Bad call, but by then officials were looking at scrum as something to be avoided.

50: Brian O'Driscoll off feet at ruck three metres from Scotland line. Accidental and had no material effect on Scotland's capacity to defend.

Verdict: A very bad call

58: Jamie Heaslip makes a great tackle and starts poaching ball (sailing close to the wind, but okay) and then continues after being knocked off his feet.

Verdict: Avoidable

66: Denis Leamy hands in ruck.

Verdict: Easily avoidable

71: Denis Leamy in from side. Blessed not to be binned (thanks to Dan Parks dropping a goal).

Verdict: Easily avoidable

-- Brendan Fanning

Sunday Indo Sport

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