Fijian Drua coach Byrne slams Australian TMO rulings

Mick Byrne

Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne says he is proud of the performance of his players and at the same time criticises how crucial match officials played in his side’s 28-43 loss to ACT Brumbies at GIO Stadium, Canberra Super Rugby Pacific contest on Friday night.

Labelled by Australia media as “unlucky Fijians” the Drua denied the lead twice after two crucial TMO decisions.

After having the try that would have given them the lead denied, Drua was then ruled to have crawled over the line in a double movement and conceded the penalty.

The call has not gone down well for Byrne after the TMO’s tough calls late in the Brumbies’ loss.

He was unimpressed at the time it took to make two crucial decisions that denied his side the lead, as it allowed the home side to regain momentum.

He has also lamented the errors his team made.

“The referee is going to the (Rugby) World Cup and good luck to him, he saw a clear knock-on but did not see the footage and we lost a try.

“But that’s not what cost us the game; we made too many errors,” he told RNZ.

“The time-wasting just played into the Brumbies hands they love that structured game, a couple of times he could have had a chat but look we made too many errors.”

“We got across the line but never scored the try and it was very frustrating watching — that is for sure.”

He was proud of his team nonetheless.

“This is a tough place to come and we put on a performance. I think the scoreboard got away from us in the end.

“We will take heart from that and there were a lot of learnings,” he said.

“At the start of the second half, we didn’t secure enough possession and we gave them a few set pieces and we will learn from that. “We learn every week and (I am) proud of the boys for what they did tonight (Saturday).”