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'It's just inexcusable... hopefully something happens to the TMO'

By Kim Ekin

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Connacht head coach Andy Friend has lashed out at ‘an inexcusable’ refereeing mistake that dented his side’s chances of a rare Thomond Park away win against, which was denied the Westerners in the URC over the weekend.

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Connacht had been the better team for much of the Irish inter-provincial derby, but a try before halftime saw Munster go into the interval a point ahead.

Replays of the try show that at least two Munster were players ahead of kicker, Munster standoff Joey Carbery, who launched a crossfield kick to the left wing in the 40th minute.

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Munster second row Tadhg Beirne – who was clearly offside – got a boot the ball before it was eventually touched down by backrow Chris Cloete.

The try was awarded.

On small things do such matches swing. Connacht did fight back and managed to get ahead once more in the second half, only for Munster to dash their hopes with a late try.

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“I’ve got to be careful, I’ve been here three and a bit years, mate, if it’s a 50-50 I rarely see it going our way,” said Friend following the game.  “I know that, but listen we’ve got to keep pushing our limits and making sure that we’re trying to be as squeaky clean as we can with things. I’m just . . . to me, that try and the missed offside there – that’s inexcusable.

“Whether it’s Connacht or somebody else, I don’t know, it’s just inexcusable.”

Friend – a former Australian Sevens coach – said there was little recourse with the URC to address that type of decision.

“We don’t have a referees’ manager, so I’m assuming that URC will be looking at that and hopefully something happens to the TMO that missed it. But it doesn’t help us, mate.”

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It’s been a tough start to the URC campaign for Connacht. The Galway-based side have just one win against the Bulls so far this season, having been beaten by the Dragons at home the weekend before last.

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'It's just inexcusable... hopefully something happens to the TMO'

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