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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

Exiles: O'Shea blasts ref as McCall signs on until 2015 with Saracens

The Harlequins director or rugby believes Quins’ referee on Sunday was out of his depth.

Saracens captain Steve Borthwick and Mark McCall.
Saracens captain Steve Borthwick and Mark McCall.
Image: ©INPHO/Andrew Fosker

HARLEQUINS WON ON Sunday to retain top spot in the Aviva Premiership but coach Conor O’Shea was fuming at the final whistle.

Quins, who face Connacht in the Heineken Cup this weekend, beat London Welsh 31-26 but O’Shea told BBC Radio that he was “incensed” about the performance of referee Llyr ApGeraint-Roberts.

He said, “If people are out of their depth they are out of their depth. It’s not right.”

O’Shea was upset with what he perceived to be the home side’s deliberate slowing tactics and the skewed penalty count against his side despite their dominance at scrum and breakdown.

The win was enough to displace Leicester Tigers at the top and keep clear of Saracens, who beat Tony Buckley and Sale Sharks 32-12.

Sarries, who beat Munster at Vicarage Road in round four of the Heineken Cup pool fixtures, have rewarded Mark McCall for the fine job he is doing with the team.

The former Ulster coach, who was capped 13 times by Ireland, has had his contract as director of rugby extended until the summer of 2015.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said, “Mark has provided outstanding service for the past three and a half years, and we are delighted he has agreed to continue his excellent work.

“He leads a strong and talented coaching team with great skill and fantastic commitment, and we are very confident he will continue to guide and inspire the development of the squad.”

Attitude and grit

The remarkable journey of Grenoble, and their forwards coach Bernard Jackman, continued at the weekend.

Grenoble defeated Castres Olympique 14-12 at home to climb to fifth in the Top 14 table. According to, the win is the French side’s 24th consecutive home win since May 2011.

Jackman was ecstatic about taking another high-profile scalp and, through his Twitter account, paid credit to his team for ‘old school attitude and grit’. He also posted this:

Jackman and Grenoble are in Amlin Challenge Cup action against Stade Francais on Saturday.

They have won twice and lost twice in the pool stages so progress to the quarter finals looks unlikely.

Holley rejects offer to replace Elwood at Connacht

Pro12 Team of the Week

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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