MUNSTER COACH ROB PENNEY did his best to stay onside with Pascal Gauzere in the post-match briefings but he will not want to see the French referee again any time soon.
Penney said Munster would be ‘communicating with the refereeing officials in the coming days’ after Gauzere called 18 penalties and three free kicks against his side.
The penalty count was in Saracens’ favour throughout but the home side managed a 15-9 win. They will, however, be frustrated that they conceded a losing bonus point to the Englishmen.
Penney said, “Passion, fervour and our desire to do the right thing took us into the danger zone a couple of times and we were rightly sanctioned.”
He added, “We probably got a couple of things wrong and we will reflect on the video in the early part of next week and see if we can establish some sort of common ground there.
“If we’ve got some things we’ve got to get right, then we’ll be working on those areas to make sure we do.”
Thunderous start and lineout mind-games
The former Canterbury coach was pleased with the intensity his side displayed during the win and felt they should have scored two tries after an up-tempo 15 minutes at the start of the game.
He said, “Although we were not as accurate as we would have liked, we were fantastic on defence when desperation was required.
“You could use some old-school superlatives – it was heart and soul stuff.”
Penney paid tribute to Munster’s forwards coach Anthony Foley for his work with the players midweek in setting lineout traps for the visitors.
“Coming into this game,” he said, “Saracens had a 100% lineout and hadn’t had anything stolen so one of our little goals was to try and disrupt that and cause a bit of a quake in their thinking around that.
Once we got up and got one, it opened up a little fracture and it gave us an insight into disrupting a couple more… [Saracens captain] Steve Borthwick will be spewing about the loss of those lineouts.”
Penney was asked to look on the return match against Saracens next week as the second-half of a match that Munster had to win.
He looked up and smiled before responding, “Have we got the same officials?”