Belfast Telegraph

We must take control and forget about referee, says Kiss


By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss expects there will be no trouble with referee Mike Adamson and his TMO Peter Fitzgibbon against Benetton tonight (7.05pm), despite seeking clarification from PRO14's Elite Referee Manager Greg Garner after the pair last handled one of the province's games.

Adamson and Fitzgibbon were running the rule over Ulster's 27-23 defeat away to Zebre back in September when the visitors felt they had a try wrongly ruled out while also seeming to be perturbed by the interpretation of offside.

"It was mainly the use of the TMO," said Kiss of the crucial chalked off score.

"But that has been in a document we got from the referee (manager) Greg Garner.

"They have talked about the processes in that because that was the day the drive was deemed to have shifted but it just actually went straight up.

"I do not think it was validated but there has been a lot of work done by Garner in getting the processes right and Mike Adamson as a referee, Peter Fitzgibbon as the TMO, they are trying to do their best all the time.

"Yeah, there were some things and we spoke to Greg about it after that game. That did have an impact but we have probably had more impact on ourselves, to tell you the truth, on a couple of decisions we made in that game."

With a host of players injured tonight, and his Irish front-liners absent, Kiss has had to name an experimental side that will be captained by Christian Leali'ifano who has moved to inside centre.

An injury-hit front-row has also had to be altered, with Andy Warwick having to cover tight-head from the bench rather than his usual loosehead.

Indeed, three Academy products will be making their debut.

Ballynahinch clubman Aaron Hall starts at flanker while Malone lock Matt Dalton and Banbridge back-rower Greg Jones are on the bench.

Kiss, though, is looking forward to seeing some younger players step up.

"It gives us the opportunity to look at a number of young lads and bring them into the squad," he added.

"I have no doubt we're going to see one or two youngsters in there who we haven't seen before so that is quite exciting.

"It is a good experience for them. They have worked hard these last few days and are ready to step into the breach."

Belfast Telegraph


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