Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

O'Sullivan refuses to blame referee for French defeat

Irish coach, Eddie O'Sullivan has refused to blame the referee, Steve Walsh for

two poor second half decisions that could have turned the game.

Walsh failed to play advantage when Geordan Murphy pounced on a French

knock-on and ran the length of the pitch.

Later in the game Marcus Horan was pulled back by Imanol Harinordoquy as he

attempted to hack the ball over the line.

O'Sullivan said: "Steve admitted at the time when he blew the whistle on Geordan that

he'd got it wrong. He apologised to the boys and these things happens."

"It's the luck of the draw and could happen to any referee. It could have

gone either way with Horan and overall I thought Steve had a good game, he

didn't affect the outcome of the match."

Captain Paul O'Connell admitted it was a shattering defeat but still felt

Croke Park's first rugby international was an occasion to remember.

The Munster lock said: "As soon as Ronan's penalty went over we went back and

talked about securing their kick off.

"I didn't do that and the bounce of the ball went their way and that decided

the match. It's disappointing but that's the way it is."

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