Eoghan Masterson was sinbinned by Roman Poite on Sunday. PA Wire/Press Association Images
bitter end

'I'm not talking about any referees' - Pat Lam bit his tongue after Connacht's European heartbreak

Roman Poite’s performance at Kingsholm has come in for criticism – but not from the Connacht boss.

PAT LAM BIT his tongue and declined to comment on the contentious decisions that marred Connacht’s heartbreaking Champions Cup play-off defeat.

Referee Roman Poite was criticised for a number of big calls as Gloucester equalised in the final minute to force extra time before grinding out a 40-32 win.

The defeat ended Lam’s hopes of leading the province back to Europe’s premier competition but he refused to comment on the French referee’s performance.

“I learned from my judiciary [hearing],” he told Rob Murphy of Galway Bay FM. “I’m not talking about any referees.”

Connacht looked set for a winner-take-all showdown against Bordeaux as they led 25-18 with a minute of normal time remaining.

But Poite penalised them at the breakdown and Billy Meakes took advantage to score a last-gasp converted try.

James Hook nudged Gloucester into the lead with a penalty but Connacht responded defiantly again and took the lead courtesy of Matt Healy’s second try before scores from Darren Dawidiuk and Jonny May sealed the hosts’ progress.

Lam praised the spirit shown by his side but admitted they had paid the ‘ultimate price.’

“Just before the last minute of play, we carried the ball in and we got a penalty against us which should have gone the other way. Those are the calls that you’ve just got to live with. That gave them that end to the game, but then we still should have stopped their maul but they scored the try.

Obviously they were on the up but we came together, we got in the huddle, and we talked about Connacht and the fight and who we represent and what we do, making sure we get back into using the ball and back into the game.

“We needed to keep the ball and that’s one of our learnings. We kicked the ball away and that was the last thing we needed to do with the counter-attack they had, and we paid the ultimate price.”

– Audio courtesy of Rob Murphy, Galway Bay FM (@murphyrob)

Munster and Glasgow will have the world’s best referee in charge of their Pro12 title tilt

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