Cardiff coach lets rip at ref­eree af­ter Ul­ster loss

Mul­vi­hill in­censed at sev­eral de­ci­sions from South African ref­eree Berry Home side re­cover from trail­ing 12-10 to snatch win thanks to two Cooney penal­ties

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports -

It took the af­ter­math of this ugly arm-wres­tle on Satur­day be­fore we got some fire­works when Cardiff Blues coach John Mul­vi­hill let rip af­ter feel­ing in­censed at sev­eral de­ci­sions un­der South African ref­eree Stu­art Berry’s watch.

“We weren’t happy with how the game was of­fi­ci­ated, and I’m start­ing to get to a stage where I’m sick of it,” said the Aus­tralian in com­ments that are sure to not go un­no­ticed.

“The way the game was of­fi­ci­ated to­wards the end wasn’t right. Un­der the goal­posts at the end, three [Ul­ster] play­ers off their feet, one in par­tic­u­lar off his feet, hands not even on the ball, his hands were at the back of the ruck but the ref­eree calls hold­ing on. The ref was in the wrong position, he didn’t see it, and he didn’t even go to the TMO.

“You’ve got de­ci­sions where we get a yel­low card [against Seb Davies in the 54th minute] for some­one clean­ing some­one out. It wasn’t a shoul­der charge, it was a clean out and he wrapped his arms.”

While reck­on­ing a sec­ond-half ex­change be­tween Stu­art Mc­Closkey and Lloyd Wil­liams ought to have ended with a red card for the Ul­ster­man, Mul­vi­hill was par­tic­u­larly up­set about an in­ci­dent in the 60th minute which he main­tained ought to have brought a penalty try.

“When To­mos Wil­liams makes the break, the ball is knocked out of his hands, Ja­son Har­ries goes for the ball and he’s tack­led by Mc­Closkey five me­tres from the try line with­out the ball.

“No penalty try, no TMO, scrum [to Ul­ster for what was ad­judged to be a Blues knock-on].”

Ref­er­ees’ boss

He then lashed out at the wider tar­get of of­fi­ci­at­ing in the Pro14. “First three games, I’ve spo­ken to the ref­er­ees’ boss, he has told me on email, and on my phone, that if the game was of­fi­ci­ated prop­erly we would have won the first three games.

“Now, there are big stakes in rugby, peo­ple lose their jobs and play­ers lose their roles, so it has to be bet­ter than it was,” added an in­fu­ri­ated Mul­vi­hill whose side col­lected a los­ing bonus point af­ter out-scor­ing Ul­ster by two tries to one.

Ul­ster re­cov­ered from trail­ing 12-10 af­ter a first half where they had been com­pre­hen­sively out-played to snatch this win thanks to the only scor­ing from the sec­ond half through two John Cooney penal­ties, which he added af­ter a con­ver­sion and penalty in the open­ing half on his re­turn to pro­vin­cial duty.

Ul­ster will need to mas­sively im­prove for Parc y Scar­lets on Fri­day – the first of their Eu­ro­pean back-to-back clashes a mere two weeks af­ter los­ing there in the Pro14 – and with Iain Hen­der­son and Will Ad­di­son the only ones not in­volved from their Ire­land con­tin­gent last week­end, their dis­play against the Blues is a cause for real con­cern.

Ul­ster had trailed 12-10 af­ter Matthew Mor­gan and Kris Dacey

Ul­ster cen­tre Stu­art Mc­Closkey looks to off­load dur­ing their vic­tory over the Cardiff Blues at Kingspan Sta­dium on Satur­day.

had scored first-half tries, with the home side’s try com­ing from an un­ortho­dox ef­fort by Kieran Tread­well.

Yel­low card

Davies’ sec­ond half yel­low card for a hit on Ross Kane looked a big mo­ment and Cooney nudged them ahead three min­utes later.

Cooney’s sec­ond penalty was fol­lowed by more Blues’ pres­sure, only for re­place­ments Rory Best and Ja­cob Stock­dale to win turnover penal­ties – the for­mer’s be­ing a big is­sue for Mul­vi­hill – to help Ul­ster hold out.

We weren’t happy with how the game was of­fi­ci­ated, and I’m start­ing to get to a stage where I’m sick of it

Her­ring,MMoore;AO’Con­nor(capt),KTread­well;SReidy,JMur­phy,MCoet­zee.Re­place­ments: I Na­gle­forO’Con­nor(35mins),JMcPhillips­forBurns(36mins),JS­tock­dale­forLowry(42mins),E O’Sul­li­van­forWar­wick(43mins),RKane­forMoore(45mins),RBest­forHer­ring(50mins),NTi­money forMur­phy(71mins).No­tused:DShana­han. Gill,KDacey,SAn­drews,SDavies,JTurn­bull,SManoa,ORobin­son,NWil­liams.Re­place­ments:G Smith­for­forLee-Lo(42mins),RCar­reforGill(50mins),DLew­is­forAn­drews(50mins),GEar­lefor Manoa(54mins),TWil­liams­forLWil­liams(54mins),LBelcher­forDacey(62mins),SShin­gler­for Mil­lard(65mins),JDown­forNWil­liams(70mins).Yel­low­card:Davies(54mins).

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