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What Up Doc

What Up Doc

Just About

It seems some people’s noses were seriously out of joint with the match report on the Ulster v Munster game in Ravenhill. The ‘just about’ degree of Ulster’s ‘deserved’ victory annoyed some northern supporters who also took umbrage at the suggestion that the winning score came about thanks to an Alan Lewis ‘assist’. Mind you, not that too many who wrote in to the messageboard were defending Mr Lewis.
No, in fact they were quite scathing of the Dublin official’s handling of the game.
George, deemed Lewis ‘unfit’ to handle the task,
Hooker Larkin labeled him a ‘poseur’ while another asked ‘Is Lewis the worst referee in Irish rugby’

Well he’s not. But he will have better games than he had on Friday.

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But getting back to what seems to have really irked, the ‘just about’ moniker to the ‘deserved’ judgement.

Lets have a look at the facts.

Ulster dominated for all of the opening half except perhaps ten minutes (approx) and scored 16 unanswered points.
Munster then dominated for large tracts of the second half and scored 18 unanswered points.
With a little less than four minutes to go Munster are leading by two points, in control of the ball and attacking on the Ulster 22.
Ulster fashion a break-out, score and convert a try and lead by five.
They then survive a final Munster onslaught – yes, full credit to Ulster for marvellous and brave defence, and no, I don’t know where all the injury time came from – to hang on – and they were hanging on – for victory.

Now going back to the issue of whether or not the last try came after a knock on. Well no, I didn’t see the highlights on TV. No, your tireless (not tiresome) Editor got his hands on the match video. And guess what. The report was correct. There was a clear knock on. And no, it wasn’t AW’s charge down on RO’G’s kick. It came seconds earlier when Warren Brosnihan (I think) ran onto a chip ahead on his own 22 and spilled the ball forward. And Lewis played advantage. And Munster won it back. And then lost it to the charge down.
But there’s the rub.
Some would say that when a ref plays advantage and it doesn’t accrue, then he should return for the original offence. In this case, a scrum to Munster.

But he didn’t and Munster lost the advantage. And the match ? Well who knows. It was still a two point game and anything can happen. But overall, I think it has to be said. – All things considered – Ulster deserved their victory
Just about.