'Scumbag stuff' - Lavanini's red card hit draws instant anger from O'Mahony

The Ireland back row was excellent and finished the game as captain.

“THAT’S SCUMBAG STUFF. You know exactly what you’re doing.

“Hard man, hard man…. unlike you, isn’t it? That’s very unlike you.”


Peter O’Mahony’s instant anger out on the pitch was obvious and audible as he reacted to Tomás Lavanini’s cheap shot hit on Cian Healy from the side at a second-half breakdown.

O’Mahony, the Ireland captain after James Ryan’s first-half injury, was soon apologising to referee Matt Carley for his outburst but Lavanini’s actions warranted a scathing response and a red card.

It’s the third red card of Lavanini’s Test career, while he has been given seven yellow cards for Argentina. His club career includes a further red card and another nine yellow cards.

Post-match, O’Mahony was asked about the incident and gave a calmer, more considered response, touching on his own experience of being red-carded for Ireland in this year’s Six Nations.

“Ah look, it’s heat of the moment stuff,” said O’Mahony following Ireland’s 53-7 win. “I’ve been on the other side of that as well so it’s a split-second decision from his point of view.

“These things happen. It’s split-second stuff for him. He’s trying to make an effort to clean someone out and he’s got it wrong.

“That’s what I thought at the time and you’re trying to look after your buddies, looking after your mates and the last thing you want is for them to get injured.

peter-omahony-celebrates-after-the-game O'Mahony was a happy man at full time. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“From his point of view, it’s tough as well. It’s literally fractions of a second and at the time I was pissed off but I’ve been on the other side of it and you’re talking about hundredths of seconds where pictures change and, you know, red card.

“The disappointment of getting a red card for your country is nothing you can experience, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

O’Mahony was far more interested in discussing Ireland’s victory, which extended their winning streak to eight games.

The Munster captain came off the bench in the autumn wins over Japan and New Zealand before starting today’s victory against the Pumas following a late injury to Jack Conan.

32-year-old O’Mahony said that Andy Farrell’s camp is a very happy place.

“I said it after the game, I speak for the group in saying that it’s been an incredibly enjoyable month,” said O’Mahony.

“I was chatting inside and having a beer there and it’s just been great fun. We’ve learned a huge amount as a group and the cohesion that we have built has brought us to that next level of friendship which is so important.

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“Chatting there with Hugo [Keenan] there and I have loved the month. It’s probably the most enjoyable one of my career so far, which has been a while now. It’s been great.”

There was also a happy outing for Joey Carbery in the absence of Johnny Sexton, with a 50-minute run at out-half before he finished the game at fullback.

tadhg-furlong-james-lowe-peter-omahony-and-andrew-porter O'Mahony was a key man for Ireland today. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

O’Mahony has seen the 26-year-old’s struggles during injury up close in Munster so he is delighted to see the Athy man back enjoying Test rugby.

“It’s great,” said O’Mahony. “He had a rough 18-month period and he’s an incredible professional. He kept his head down, stuck at it, and he’s gathered momentum now that he didn’t have for a long time just by putting games back-to-back. 

“He’s been around the environments and not just rehabbing. Once you’re back in the squad, it’s different. It’s tough when you’re rehabbing, I’ve been there and it’s a tough old period but he’s come back and he’s added to the environment, added to the enjoyment, preparation, and performance side of things. 

“He’s driving that on and he’s growing in experience, which is important for him. He’s only young so he’s getting there.”

Originally published at 20.30. This article was updated at 7.35am on 22 November to correct ‘scatching’ to ‘scathing’ in the fourth paragraph.

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