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Toulon's Laporte blasts ref as 'hopeless' and 'incompetent' after shock Grenoble win

Grenoble, who include Irish duo Bernard Jackman and Mike Prendergast among their coaching staff, won 22-21 in last Saturday’s Top 14 match.

Bernard Laporte celebrating with Toulon fans after last May's Heineken Cup final win.
Bernard Laporte celebrating with Toulon fans after last May's Heineken Cup final win.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TOULON COACH BERNARD Laporte blasted French referee Laurent Cardona as “hopeless” and “completely incompetent” and accused him of “robbing” his team in every match, including last week’s 22-21 loss to Grenoble.

Laporte stormed out of his team’s Stade Mayol ground after Saturday’s Top 14 match which had seen the European champions beaten by a controversial late interception try.

Grenoble, who include Irish duo Bernard Jackman and Mike Prendergast among their coaching staff, pulled off a major shock as they became the first team to win in Toulon in just over a year.

Laporte refused to talk to the media after the game while club president Mourad Boudjellal even speculated that the former French national coach would not remain in the job.

Today, Laporte fired both barrels at Cardona.

“He robs us every time. On the game’s last move there was a strategic error, a referee error,” Laporte, a former sports minister in the French government, told RMC Sport.

“It is not just this incident where he was hopeless. He was hopeless all the match. He is always hopeless.”

He added: “If we continue to work in a professional environment with amateurs, it’s going to be a catastrophe.”

Laporte described Cardona as “completely incompetent” and said that “he had had enough”, even considering resigning.

“I really wanted to quit on Saturday and I was right to leave the ground otherwise I would have been struck off for life,” he explained.

“But I thought that if I left, I would be paying him too much honour. I have a contract until 2015 and I will respect it.”

© AFP, 2014

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