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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Jake White concedes Goosen red card changed Munster game

"I think it changed the outcome of the game; it made the game turn a different angle," said White.

Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, bemoaned flyhalf Johan Goosen’s red card in their 27-22 defeat to Munster in the United Rugby Championship, saying it changed the outcome of the game.

White’s charges were leading 22-17 when Goosen was given his marching orders by referee Adam Jones.

The red card came after Goosen was adjudged to have clashed with Munster’s replacement scrumhalf Craig Casey’s head. Goosen charged down on Casey, and from the tackle, the ball got loose with Canan Moodie picking it up to go dot down.

Jones reviewed Moodie’s try to see if his feet were not out in touch but would be directed to Goosen’s tackle by the TMO, Craig Evans and he eventually produced a red card, much to the shock of Loftus Versfeld.

Following the red card, the Bulls relinquished their lead after John Hodnett scored in the corner and the game got away when Conor Murray put the ball on the white line in the final minutes.

“Changed the outcome of the game”

Considering how the Bulls had the lead and momentum before Goosen’s red card in the 53rd minute, White said they lost the game at that moment.

“I think it changed the outcome of the game; it made the game turn a different angle,” White said in his post-match press conference.

“Had it been later on in the game and we were far ahead, people don’t see the importance of that. That’s what makes it so hard for a coach because you almost sense there are certain key moments in a game that if they do go for you or don’t you can end up winning or losing the game.

“I thought we were actually getting back into the game, and I got the feeling they were hanging on a bit. Had that try been given, and the ref thought it was a rugby incident and then all of a sudden we are four tries in and getting a bit of momentum. Margins are so small; sometimes you get the rub of the green, sometimes you don’t,” he said.

Inconsistency by offcials

White said he understands the frustration that comes with the inconsistency when judging head contact by the match officials. He mentioned the different sanctions meted out in recent matches involving the Bulls, comparing Goosen’s red card to Leinster’s Luke McGrath‘s yellow card for when he bumped into Kurt-Lee Arendse’s head when they met in Dublin a few weeks ago.

“It’s such a difficult one because I understand they are trying to make the game safer; they don’t want concussions, and that is the way,” White said.

“One week you might be fortunate when the referee says that was a rugby incident, that one (Luke McGrath) was a yellow card even though he knocked Kurt-Lee like that.”

The Bulls will next host Ospreys in the URC at Loftus Versfeld (kick-off 3pm) on Saturday.