JVG: 'Whether an incident happens in the first or last second, you just want consistency'

The Munster head coach was left frustrated again by crucial officiating decisions.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Sean Farrell reports from Kingspan Stadium

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Johann van Graan was left frustrated by a big refereeing call  for a second week running.

Ulster wing Robert Baloucoune was sin-binned after the opening play of the 19-12 loss to Ulster. The Fermanagh man mis-timed his chase of the kick-off and took out Darren Sweetnam as he claimed the ball in the air.

Though the Corkman did not appear to land on his head, there was a sense of relief around Ravenhill that Baloucoune did not earn a more serious sanction than yellow from referee Sean Gallagher.

“Let me just put it this way,” said Van Graan when asked about the incident and its timing in the wake of a fraught clash with Castres that brought bans for two opponents.

“Like last week we didn’t lose because of one decision. I just believe player welfare is very important and whether an incident happens in the first second or the last second, you just want consistency from the officials.

“There’s a process in place and there’s a citing commissioner. I’m sure the right channels will be followed.”

As was the case with Castres, though, any citing in the days after a game is little consolation after defeat for Munster.

“It is frustrating, but that’s currently the way that rugby works…”

Asked about the same incident, Ulster head coach Dan McFarland wore more than a hint of a grin after the 19-12 win.

“It was definitely a yellow card, we can’t have any complaints,” he said, and when Van Graan’s view was put to him he abruptly added:

“Yeah, he’s wrong.”

All in all, despite the game being tight for long stints, there was a feeling of disappointment from Ulster after falling short of a bonus point win.

“I’m really happy we won. I would have liked the Christmas present of a bonus point and that was well possible after the performance in the second-half,” said McFarland.

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“We’re a little disappointed. I was very impressed with Munster’s physicality in the first-half. They put us under a bit of pressure, hit our ball-carriers and as a consequence it was a bit messy at the breakdown.

“When we got quick ball we showed we could cause them trouble but we came out in the second half, determined to speed the ball up and I think we showed in the second half that we were capable of scoring tries.”

And the crucial one that put the match beyond Munster came from Baloucoune.

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne preview another big weekend of rugby action and dissect the week’s main talking points.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Sean Farrell

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