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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 19 January 2021

This is the penalty Anthony Foley was furious about after Munster's defeat

Romain Poite left the Munster coach deeply annoyed.

MUNSTER COACH ANTHONY Foley was furious with referee Romain Poite after last night’s 31-19 defeat to Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park, a result which means the province face a must-win return leg at Welford Road next weekend.

Romain Poite Poite's penalty decision drew an angry response from Foley. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Foley’s anger centred around a decision by Poite to award a penalty against Munster in the 32nd minute of the game, when the scoreline was tied at 6-6. Leicester kicked the penalty to touch, mauled Munster 20 metres towards their own tryline and then scored a try as Niki Goneva went through some weak defence in the left corner.

It had initially appeared that Munster would be handed the penalty after Tigers lock Mike Fitzgerald appeared to deliberately obstruct Andrew Conway from chasing his own kick.

However, after some minutes of deliberation with television match official Gilles Cogne, Poite instead penalised Munster’s James Cronin for pushing Fitzgerald.

“The red player pushed the number six (sic), pushed the number six, and that’s enough, ok?” said Poite to Munster captain CJ Stander after making the decision. “He was imbalance and touched the players just over here, ok? First offence by red, pushing the players.”

Speaking afterwards, Foley said, “If you’re going to look at a picture, look at the whole picture.”

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Indeed, the replay shows that Dan Cole’s shove on Cronin is what resulted in the Munster loosehead colliding with Fitzgerald, who in turn blocked Conway’s path.

Foley stated that Poite’s decision was “nothing short of a disgrace” and added that the French referee “needs to be accountable for it.”

Munster coach Foley says referee Poite’s decision was ‘nothing short of a disgrace’

Costly mistakes, unhappy Munster fans and more Thomond Park talking points

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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