Friend: 'We don’t have a referees’ manager, so I’m assuming that URC will be looking at that'

Connacht coach has asked URC to appoint a referees’ manager in aftermath of Saturday’s controversial defeat.

Agony and ecstasy as Carty looks on.
Agony and ecstasy as Carty looks on.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

ANDY FRIEND, THE Connacht coach, is seeking the appointment of a referees’ manager for URC games.

And it’s little surprise. On Saturday his team lost 20-18 to a Munster side whose first try should have been wiped out after Tadhg Beirne had taken up an offside position in the build-up to it.

Afterwards Friend said: “I’ve got to be careful, I’ve been here three and a bit years, mate, if it’s a 50-50 I rarely see it going our way.

“I know that, but listen we’ve got to keep pushing our limits and making sure that we’re trying to be as squeaky clean as we can with things. I’m just . . . to me, that try and the missed offside there – that’s inexcusable.

“Whether it’s Connacht or somebody else, I don’t know, it’s just inexcusable.”

Aside from talking to the Press, Friend wants an official channel to speak to, and believes the URC needs to have a manager for refs.

 “We don’t have a referees’ manager, so I’m assuming that URC will be looking at that and hopefully something happens to the TMO that missed it. But it doesn’t help us.”

He may draw some solace from the performance. Connacht are one win from four but are clearly better than that.

“We are getting better as a team, you never stop learning and developing,” Friend said. “It’s never going to be a perfect performance, we know that.

“It’s easy to focus on those little moments that turned it and we will have a look at those with individuals no doubt, but we’ll also zone in on a lot of the good stuff we did, the pressure we caused on the lineout. Some of our strike-plays, some of our kicking was outstanding tonight, some of our defence was brilliant.

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“What we will use is that we know we’re a good football side.

“We’ve just pushed a good Munster team who haven’t looked like losing a game this year and have played some really good rugby.

“We’ve turned up at their home field, where we beat them last season, knowing full well there was going to be a kick-back and we pushed them all the way to their limits.

“So, we know we’re a good football side. Our blip last week (against the Dragons) was a blip. We just have to make sure we never drop to that again and we keep our standards high.”

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Garry Doyle

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