Super Rugby

Larkham blames poor refereeing for Brumbies exit

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Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham says his team should be in the Super Rugby Semi-finals instead of the Highlanders and blamed the match officials and their decisions for his team’s exit.

Larkham says that “they deserved the win” and placed the blame on the match officials of referee Angus Gardner and TMO George Ayoub who are both Australian.

The Brumbies were beaten 9-15 by reigning Super Rugby champions the Highlanders and although they were outscored two tries to none in the match Larkham was unable to hide his frustration.

Larkham said in the Brumbies post match press conference that he felt his team “should be in the Semi-finals” as they had played better football than the Highlanders.

“The guys did everything right in that game, it’s hard for me not to comment on the refereeing,” said the Brumbies coach.

“I can’t see how Lausii (Taliauli) did not score that try – there’s no other possible answer to what happened there.”

“And then a couple of those scrums at the end – we had a dominant scrum the whole game and I dont think that changed at the end – it was really tough, I thought there should have been a penalty there at the end.”

“Like I said, the boys did everything right, it was a see-sawing battle and we made a couple of mistakes but we got to the point where we deserved to win that game.”

“It’s incredibly frustrating to know that we lost it that way,” said Larkham.

“It was clearly a try – for everyone who saw it,” added the frustrated Brumbies coach.

Larkham said that he felt Matt Toomua’s first half yellow card was fair but the frustration was there as they, “executed everything right to that 80th minute and they deserved the win.”

“It’s really disappointing that a game comes down to that – we should be in the semi-finals right now.”

“I give credit where it’s due and I think the Highlanders played really good football but I thought we played better”.

“I think we deserved that win.”

Brumbies staff gave out free pies and ponchos to the first 2000 fans who arrived at the ground and offered free parking to those who arrived early but the Canberra side were only able to draw in 8,559 fans despite the match being the only Australian representation in the finals.

The Highlanders victory was their first in Canberra for ten years.

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