Late last week, Bath owner Bruce Craig outlined his intention to write to the EPCR to request a replay of the Heineken Champions Cup clash between his club and Toulouse.
That game, which was famous for Freddie Burns’ failure to ground the ball for a certain match-winning try, was won by Toulouse on a scoreline of 20-22.
However, Craig was furious with two incidents from that game. Firstly, he believed the game ended early as Bath had won an attacking lineout with the television clock clearly stating there was time left and secondly, the subsequent retrospective bans of Jerome Kaino and Lucas Pointud meant that both players should have received a red card during the game – only Kaino saw yellow.
Now the EPCR have released a statement clarifying one of these issues – the match clock.
The statement reads:
EPCR would like to clarify several issues arising from the Heineken Champions Cup, Round 1 fixture between Bath Rugby and Toulouse at The Recreation Ground on Saturday, October 13.
It has been reported in the media that the match referee, Andrew Brace, blew the full-time whistle three seconds before the 80 minutes had elapsed, however, this is incorrect.
Although the television match graphics indicated that 79 minutes and 57 seconds had elapsed when the match ended, the official stadium clock which was visible to players, club management and to spectators, clearly displayed that 80 minutes had elapsed.
Once Andrew Brace received confirmation in his earpiece from the Official Timekeeper that time was up, he blew the final whistle.
EPCR accepts that the disparity in this instance between the official time and the time shown on the television match graphics caused some confusion, and ways to avoid any similar situation in the future will be carefully considered by the tournament organiser.
The result of the Pool 1 match stands.