ULSTER CAPTAIN JOHANN MULLER did not agree with the controversial decision of referee Jerome Garces to sent off Jared Payne for taking out Saracens’ Alex Goode in mid-air.
The Ulster fullback was shown a straight card for his challenge on Goode after only four minutes. Payne had his eyes on the ball but never left the ground to contest. His opposite number landed badly and needed several minutes of treatment. Garces asked for numerous video replays before sending Payne on his way. Ulster fought valiantly with 14 men but lost 17-15.
Ulster captain Johann Muller told Sky Sports he was proud of his teammates for fighting for 75 minutes with reduced numbers and pushing the Premiership leaders to the brink. “The passion and commitment the boys showed out there tells you all about the quality in this squad,” he said.
Asked about the sending off, Muller said, “It was very clear. Jared had his eyes on the ball the whole time and he didn’t see [Goode] coming. I said that to the ref as well.” He added, “It wasn’t right… it was a yellow card but a red card is very harsh.”
Muller paid credit to his team’s character and the home supporters at revamped Ravenhill. “There is only 4,000 extra people but it sounded like there was an extra 30,000 here. The atmosphere was outstanding.”
Sarries captain Steve Borthwick, once he was assured his injured teammate was okay, post-match, refused to get drawn into a debate over the card. He said,”That is the ref’s decision. We have to do whatever the ref decides.”
What do you think? Was a red card warranted or a harsh call?