Andy Goode commended – and ridiculed – RFU referee JP Doyle’s use of French during Ulster and Clermont’s round two Champions Cup clash in Ravenhill on Friday night.


A second-half try from John Cooney saw Ulster beat their French opponents 18-13 at the Kingspan Stadium to go top of Pool Three after two rounds of European games.

Cooney also kicked a conversion and two penalties for a 13-point haul as the Irish province backed up last week’s win at Bath in what was another arm-wrestle of a game at a weather-hit Kingspan.

Ulster’s other try was scored by Jordi Murphy early in the first half, while Clermont’s Greig Laidlaw slotted two penalties as the Top 14 side snatched a losing bonus point thanks to a late second-half penalty try. However, it was the attempt by JP Doyle to speak French that impressed Goode, even if it was tinged with irony.

“Great work by JP Doyle speaking in French to the Clermont team, only 5 of the starting 15 are French though and one of those is Raka who’s Fijian!”

Doyle’s use of French is nothing new and it’s something that has been largely lauded on Twitter down through the years.


Cooney’s 62nd-minute score, when he kicked through near the Clermont line and then controlled the ball to touch down, ensured that Ulster have two wins from two to lead Pool Three of the Heineken Champions Cup.

“John has got lots of tricks in his bag and he is an incredibly skilful player and it was a great bit of play from him,” said McFarland.

“John told me that he has been practising that move for years when he breaks blind and chips, but that he has never actually done it in a game. So he pulls it out of the bag in a Champions Cup game!


“When I was watching him from the box there was a big shout of ‘No’ followed by a big shout of ‘Yes!’.”

The Rugby Pod gave their reaction to the news that Saracens will not appeal the 35 point deduction that they were given in light of breaching salary cap regulations.

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