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Castres ‘really hard done by’ as Harlequins snatch last-gasp win

Castres Harlequins

‘Got to feel for Castres, some horrific decisions have gone against them there.’

Harlequins snatched another dramatic last-gasp victory against Castres Olympique on Friday night, although much of the discussion has centred around referee decisions leading up to the score.

There were over 83 minutes on the clock when Alex Dombrandt touched down for what was originally given as the match-winning try, although Castres could certainly argue that the try shouldn’t have been given.

Referee Mike Adamson decided that the on-field decision was no try, which meant that TMO Brian MacNeice would need clear proof of a grounding to overturn the decision.

Dombrandt knocked the ball on shortly after grounding it, although it was far from clear whether the ball was touched down before or on the line, in what was admittedly a tough call.

Austin Healey and Andy Goode comment on referee decisions.

To make matters worse for Castres, they looked to have won a legitimate turnover penalty in the build up to the score, which was given the other way, while there were also a couple of questionable passes from Harlequins in the final minutes.

Austin Healey was commentating on BT Sport and sympathised with the French side after victory, which would have seen them progress to the knock-out stages of the Heineken Champions Cup, slipped through their fingers.

“I feel really hard done by for Castres because that was a turnover, for me, the other way. But Quins, they just keep on taking their chances in the last few seconds and they back themselves to deliver,” Healey said.

Healey’s former Leicester Tigers team mate Andy Goode was also sympathetic to the French side.

“Got to feel for Castres, some horrific decisions have gone against them there,” Goode tweeted.

Castres defence coach Joe Worsley laments his side’s errors.

Bitterly disappointed, Castres defence coach Joe Worsley did question some of the referee decisions on BT Sport after the game, but admitted that his side didn’t convert numerous chances.

“Obviously gutted, the team put in a really good performance tonight. A few decisions did not go our way at the end but we’ve got to say we hold our hands up as well,” Worsley admitted.

“We made a lot of errors in the game and gave them field position because off those errors and they scored a few tries out of the back of it and we missed kicks. At the end of the day those made the difference.”

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