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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Wasps fear referee error in Galway could cost them qualification

Mathieu Raynal’s error gave Connacht the platform to maul their way to victory.

French referee Mathieu Raynal
French referee Mathieu Raynal

WASPS FEAR A refereeing mistake that led to their defeat in Saturday’s European Champions Cup clash away to Connacht could have “serious repercussions” for the Premiership side.

The EPCR yesterday admitted that Connacht should not have been allowed to take the late line-out that resulted in Naulia Dawai scoring a try which was brilliantly converted by Jack Carty to snatch a dramatic 20 – 18 win.

Assistant referee Mathieu Raynal, who replaced the injured Jerome Garces, had awarded a penalty to Connacht after time had elapsed, so the game should have been over when Connacht kicked for touch.

The EPCR confirmed the result will stand, ensuring Wasps, Toulouse and Connacht are level on 13 points with two Pool Two matches remaining.

Wasps are prepared to move on from the controversial defeat, but are concerned they could yet feel the consequences.

A statement released by the Coventry-based club said: “Wasps’ pitchside officials immediately stressed to the fourth official that Connacht could not take the line-out, as the referee had indicated time had gone beyond 80 minutes.

Wasps players on the pitch also emphasised to the referee that time was up. Despite several protests, the line-out was still allowed to be taken.

“We all understand referees are only human and mistakes do occasionally happen.

However, for a referee and fourth official to get the laws of the game wrong at a crucial stage of a big match is hugely disappointing.

“The error made could have serious repercussions in terms of Wasps’ qualification hopes or the prospect of securing a home quarter-final.

“EPCR have stated that the result stands. We congratulate Connacht after a hard fought contest and we will now move on to the final rounds, after tough Premiership games against Bath, Newcastle and Leicester Tigers.”

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