Controversial: Chris Cloete's try. Billy Stickland/INPHO
A Friend in need

Andy Friend: 'If it is a 50/50 call, it very rarely goes our side. It's hard, it's frustrating'

Connacht head coach was irked by decision of the referee to allow Munster’s opening try tonight.

ANDY FRIEND’S FRUSTRATION was obvious tonight after Connacht lost in controversial circumstances in Thomond Park.

Friend felt Chris Cloete’s first-half try should have been disallowed as Tadhg Beirne was offside in the lead-up to it. Friend’s annoyance focuses on the fact that the referee, Chris Busby, did not rule that score out. Connacht lost 20-18, the Cloete try a clear turning-point.

“We didn’t get the win and it is frustrating,” said Friend.

“It hurts, it hurts to lose a game like that, I thought we were the better team, the scoreboard does not tell you that.

 “We ask for consistency in this game, I didn’t think we got it

“For Mack Hansen’s disallowed try, it was a knock-on, the correct decision was made then, as the ball went forward. That was fair enough, it did go forward. But there was a lot of time spent to get that decision. I thought the yellow card for Sammy Arnold was a very harsh call.

“I then thought, in fact I know, when Rory Scannell puts the crossfield kick (that led to Chris Cloete’s first-half try), that Tadhg Beirne was offside.

“But that try didn’t get pored over in the same manner as Mack’s disallowed try.

“So they end up getting seven points for that (Cloete score).

“And at the end of the day they win by two points.

“So I am frustrated and annoyed by that.”

Do Connacht get a raw deal, Friend was asked.

“I will let others decide. We very rarely end up on the right side. If it is a 50/50, it very rarely goes our side. It is hard.”

Friend praised Jack Carty’s performance and believes the outhalf deserves a call-up from Andy Farrell, the Ireland coach.

jack-carty-scores-a-try Carty impressed for Connacht tonight. Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

“Totally, 100 per cent he has put his hand up to be selected. He has had some brilliant games this year. These blokes have played well. I thought again that our backfield played great football, we have a lot of fellas who are showing great ability and talent.

“They are all frustrated by last week’s defeat to Dragons. I don’t ever want to talk about that game again. It is parked. If we play like we did tonight on a regular basis, we will be fine.”

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