Rugby

Uproar As Curious Refereeing Decisions Hand Leinster Win Over Munster

Uproar As Curious Refereeing Decisions Hand Leinster Win Over Munster

Leinster have beaten Munster in an enthralling Pro 14 clash at the Aviva Stadium, coming out on top in a 30-22 scoreline.

The game featured some incredible rugby from both sides, but one of the main talking points that has emerged in the aftermath is the quality of the refereeing. Many fans felt that Ben Whitehouse was consistently harsh in penalising Munster, while being more than willing to turn a blind eye to a number of Leinster infractions.

The questionable decisions began in the 9th minute, when Leinster were awarded a penalty try after Keith Earls was adjudged to have tackled James Lowe without the ball, preventing a clear try in the process. Earls was also sent to the sin bin for the incident.

Many felt it was an incredibly harsh decision.

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There was also controversy about a deliberate knock-on call against Munster, disallowing a Keith Earls breakaway try when the ball appeared to come off Sam Arnold's head.

The same passage of play would eventually end in a try for Leinster. While James Lowe did incredibly well to get the ball down in the corner, the try would not have been possible without the knock-on infringement. The decision caused a 14 point swing in the game.

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Whitehouse also seemed hesitant to penalise Leinster in the same fashion. During a passage of play where the home side gave away three consecutive penalties on their own goal line, he refused to award Munster a penalty try. While they would cross the line eventually, many wondered why there was no consequences for Leinster's persistent fouling.

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Leinster would eventually run out eight point winners, but one can't help but feel that refereeing decision played a major part in the outcome of this game. Not only was it Munster fans criticising the official's performance, but indeed many Leinster supporters felt he was being harsh on their rivals.

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These decisions have placed a cloud over what was ultimately a fantastic game of rugby between two excellent sides. Munster will certainly feel hard done by, but now must prepare themselves for a trip to take on the Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup next week.

SEE ALSO: Watch: 'Brilliant Refereeing!' Irish Ref JP Doyle Praised For Brave Try Decision

Gary Connaughton

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