Ref­er­ee­ing er­ror ‘hugely dis­ap­point­ing’: Wasps

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Wasps for­mally ex­pressed their dis­ap­point­ment yes­ter­day over the ref­er­ee­ing blun­der that saw them beaten 20-18 by Con­nacht in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup at the week­end.

Sub­sti­tute ref­eree Mathieu Ray­nal er­ro­neously al­lowed Con­nacht to take a li­ne­out af­ter kick­ing to touch from a penalty awarded on full-time, from which the Ir­ish province scored a de­ci­sive con­verted try.

Com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­is­ers Euro­pean Pro­fes­sional Club Rugby ad­mit­ted Ray­nal had made an er­ror af­ter the match, but al­lowed the re­sult to stand. “We all un­der­stand ref­er­ees are only hu­man and mis­takes do oc­ca­sion­ally hap­pen,” Wasps said in a state­ment.

“How­ever, for a ref­eree and fourth of­fi­cial to get the laws of the game wrong at a cru­cial stage of a big match is hugely dis­ap­point­ing. “The er­ror made could have se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions in terms of Wasps’ qual­i­fi­ca­tion hopes or the prospect of se­cur­ing a home quar­ter-fi­nal.”

Ray­nal took over in the 74th minute at Gal­way’s Sports­ground on Satur­day, hav­ing started the match as an as­sis­tant, when ref­eree Jerome Garces suf­fered a ham­string in­jury. It is thought Con­nacht cap­tain John Mul­doon told Ray­nal his team were al­lowed to kick for touch from the penalty and then take a line-out de­spite it be­ing in over­time.

But a trial per­mit­ting that rule change does not come into force un­til Jan­uary 1 in the south­ern hemi­sphere and Au­gust 1 in the north. Nau­lia Dawai crossed from the line-out be­fore Jack Carty’s con­ver­sion se­cured a vic­tory that left Con­nacht level with Wasps and Toulouse on 13 points in Pool Two.

“Wasps’ pitch-side of­fi­cials im­me­di­ately stressed to the fourth of­fi­cial that Con­nacht could not take the line-out, as the ref­eree had in­di­cated time had gone be­yond 80 min­utes,” Wasps added.

“Wasps’ play­ers on the pitch also em­pha­sised to the ref­eree that time was up. De­spite sev­eral protests, the line-out was still al­lowed to be taken.

“EPCR have stated that the re­sult stands. We con­grat­u­late Con­nacht af­ter a hard­fought con­test and we will now move on to the fi­nal rounds, af­ter tough Premier­ship games against Bath, New­cas­tle and Le­ices­ter Tigers.” — AFP

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