Poor Officiating Ruins Exciting Semi-Final for UUJ
Wednesday the 4th March started badly for UUJ 1st XV with their bus arriving late at the University for transport to Monkstown RFC Dublin and maybe this was a sign of what the day was to hold.
Arriving at the grounds at 2.40pm they were given 20 minutes to prepare and the game kicked off 36 minutes late.
UUJ were obviously slow to start but soon showed their domination in the breakdown area and 6 minutes into the game skillful play by outhalf Jamie Millar saw the quick thinking blindside flanker Jonny Lees go in for a try which was disallowed, however on the twelfth minute UUJ were awarded a penalty which was kicked by fullback Ross Bryans.
From the restart UUJ found it hard grasp the decisions of the referee and found his decisions going against them however it was down to poor tackling let the Dublin IT outside centre score an unconverted try.
Soon after the restart a DIT player gave verbal offence to the UUJ linesman who then asked the referee to address the issue, however he informed the linesman he was not interested in this and when the player made further comments the UUJ linesman was asked to leave the pitch area?
This was to set the tone of the game, obvious decisions went against the visitors and at the breakdown where they had been dominant found the home side not being punished for killing the ball or obviously lying on the wrong side to the rucks.
The game started not to become a competition, every attack on the home side’s line resulted in a decision against the attack, even an obvious deliberated throwing the ball over the dead ball line to stop the chasing Jamie Millar from scoring his kick through was rewarded with a defence scrum.
The UUJ players started to get frustrated and miss -communication and maybe a bit of non interest let the home side run in 2 more tries before half time.
At halftime the side discussed the issues and the Coach approached the Referee to ask what he saw the problems to be which appeared to be nothing unusual and the information fed back to his players.
The game restarted but was evident was going to continue the same way with decisions and inconsistency in the Officials decisions. this was soon to show itself with a yellow card to the UUJ scrumhalf Jamie Millar (the other one) who, like the opposing scrumhalf had been highlighting offences at the breakdown.
UUJs experience meant DIT couldn’t take advantage of the one player overlap and during the “13 and half minute” sin bin DIT could not score. As the sin-bin time wound down DIT were awarded a penalty for UUJ flanker Phelium Trainor allegedly going off his feet and he was shown a yellow card, Millar returned to the field of play and UUJ soon were awarded 2 penalties in a row for the same DIT player going off his feet, no card.
The game progressed with no further scores until with five minutes to go full back Bryans went down with an injury leaving a gap in the backline defence which the home side exploited.
Dublin IT were a good side and played the game with a good attitude but for the visiting team the Official did not make it a contest.
UUJ wish Dublin IT all the best in the final
1.Jordan Elliot (Portadown)
2. Steven Weir (Belfast Harlequins)
3. Troy Wilson (Academy)
4.Rowan McCusker (Rainey OB)
5. James Meggarity (Instonians)
6. Jonny Lees (Rainey OB)
7. Mathew Montgomery (Dungannon)
8. Michael McCusker (Rainey OB)
9. Jamie Millar (Limavady)
10. Jamie Millar (Limavady)
11. Grant Dillon (Instonians)
12, David McClelland ( Randalstown)
13. Daniel Irvine (Limavady)
14.Jason Mackey (Dromore)
15.Ross Bryans (c) (Academy)
16.Conor Spence ( Ballymena)
17. Brendan Ferguson (Limavady)
18. Phelium Trainor (Rainey OB)
19. Curtis Badger (Academy)
20. Conor Murray (Randalstown)
21. Jamie Wilson (Holywood)
22.Lloyd Johnston (No Club)
Coach:- Mark Henderson
Ass Coach :- Niall Kelly
We believe an investigation is being conducted into various items. We also know completely that the UUJ players and coaches will now dedicate themsleves to perfecting their game even further, by practicing for hours everyday passing, training, rucking, pushing the boundaries and level higher and higher.