Top 14 Orange - Newspaper Review
Saint-André lashes out at referee
Ian Moriarty
December 31, 2010
Toulon head coach Philippe Saint-Andre, Toulon v Cardiff Blues, Amlin Challenge Cup Final, Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France, May 23, 2010
Toulon boss Philippe Saint-Andre did not hold back in his criticism of refereeing standards in the Top 14 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Philippe Saint-Andre | David Skrela
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Toulon coach Philippe Saint-André has lashed out at Top 14 refereeing standards after watching his side go down 20-9 at Bayonne in the latest round of action.

Saint-André described the defeat as "a nightmare" after seeing second-row Jocelina Suta sent off after a quarter of an hour for kneeing Remy Martin, but it was referee Monsieur Raynal's handling of the match as a whole that most irked the Toulon coach.

"I don't understand the rules," he told Var Matin. "We were the only ones trying to play the game yet got penalised while Bayonne were diving in like you would at a swimming pool all evening.

"We'd all like to see the French side playing rugby but we need to favour the teams who want to play rugby. Bayonne should be congratulated for winning a game one try to zero against fourteen players. I ask myself if we'd not be better off putting up garryowens and doing nothing for the 80 minutes."

Meanwhile, Clermont Auvergne team manager Jean-Marc Lhermet has questioned the Top 14's citing process after seeing Perpignan's Henry Tuilagi escape censure following a tackle that saw captain Aurelien Rougerie spend the night in hospital.

Clermont lock Jamie Cudmore was cited for punching during an intense showdown between the two sides, which Clermont won 22-16. It was the Canadian international's first appearance since returning from a ten-week ban.

"We're not contesting what Jamie Cudmore did, or the citing," Lhermet told Midi Olympique. "But we cannot understand how Tuilagi's act, which was as dangerous if not more dangerous than our player was not cited."

Toulouse flyhalf David Skrela has saluted the role of his forwards after contributing 20 points in the table-toppers' 25-8 away win at Agen.

The 31-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season, believes he is finally hitting top form after a less than impressive first season for the European champions.

"I've been spared injury and when you get a run of matches, that's why I've been feeling good," he told La Depeche du Midi. "It's also the context as well because I know everyone at the Stade now and I feel confident."

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