Belfast Telegraph

Magners League: Big job for stand-in Edwards to lift morale

By Michael Sadlier

The Millennium Stadium wasn’t the only venue to experience an officiating issue over the weekend. Kingsholm had its own refereeing controversy, though this time the call actually went against a Welsh side as the Dragons were put to the sword by home side Gloucester in Sunday’s LV Cup semi-final.

The game ended with the Dragons on the end of a 45-17 drubbing, so the blunder hardly impacted on the final result but, even so, it still stuck in the Dragons’ craw.

Gloucester’s opening try from Andy Hazell was awarded by French referee Christophe Berdos without referring to the Television Match Official after the Gloucester back rower was driven over the line under a pile of bodies. TV replays then showed that Hazell had actually dropped the ball in the act of scoring.

Dragons caretaker coach Darren Edwards accepted that his side had been well beaten and that it would be a challenge to lift his charges a mere five days later for tonight’s Magners League clash at Ravenhill.

“I don’t know why that try was given, but we are very disappointed and we were well beaten,” Edwards said.

A shot at winning a cup offered them a means to bolster morale from not only coach Paul Turner’s sudden exit, but also a dire Heineken Cup campaign and rather disappointing league effort which sees them currently in eighth and 16 points adrift of the play-off zone, though with games in hand.

Mind you, Edwards has had a positive impact with two league wins and a draw in his first three games, though the subsequent heavy defeats at Munster and Sunday’s debacle at Gloucester have shaken the injury-hit squad.

Belfast Telegraph

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