This season's Champions Cup has been a bit of a farce up to this point. The amount of postponements that have taken place have resulted in some teams having a much easier passage to the knockout stages than others, especially with the new format.
As it turns out, controversy cannot be avoided even when teams do manage to take to the pitch.
Castres entered last night's game against Harlequins knowing what they needed to do to book a place in the knockout stages, leading in the closing stages of the game.
Unfortunately, the officials would play a decisive role in the contest.
The English side saw a number of decisions go their way in the final few minutes, eventually being awarded a controversial try right at the death.
With Harlequins launching an assault on the Castres line, the French side thought they had won a game-clinching penalty when they managed to get hands on the ball in the ruck. However, referee Mike Adamson would inexplicably award the penalty against them.
After Alex Dombrandt took a quick tap and go and reached for the line, it looked as though he had fallen just short of scoring the try. The referee initially deemed that the ball had not been touched down.
After a TMO review, there seemed to be no clear evidence to overturn the referee's decision as you could not see from the replays in the ball had been touched down on or before the try line. Despite this, the call was overturned and Harlequins won the game.
You can watch the incident below.
ALEX DOMBRANDT HAS WON IT RIGHT AT THE END! 😳
With the clock in the red, Castres thought they had won it with a turnover. Instead, Domrandt's quick penalty and try is given!
It's the familiar story, @Harlequins win in the dying seconds 😌#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/6Uw29LSJ0i
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 21, 2022
A very strange call. Castres have now been eliminated from the competition as a result.
There was a consistent theme among those who watched the game, believing Castres had a right to feel aggrieved with the officiating on show.
Mike Adamson has absolutely destroyed Castres in this game
— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) January 21, 2022
Ref has absolutely done Castres at the end of here…
— Will Fraser (@Will_Fraser89) January 21, 2022
— Darragh Murphy (@murda197) January 21, 2022
Castres absolutely fucked over in that last two minutes.
As bad as you'll see.
Fair play to Quins for sticking in there. #HARvCO
— Three Red Kings (@threeredkings) January 21, 2022
Sorry, you just need to call it like you see it.
Castres have been hosed by the officials. Absolutely hosed.
— Andy McGeady (@andymcgeady) January 21, 2022
This one will probably take a while to get over.