London Irish 33-16 Saracens, Aviva Premiership, September 4
Venter laments Goode sin-binning
September 4, 2010
London Irish prop Clarke Dermody tackles Saracens hooker Schalk Brits at Twickenham © Getty Images
Saracens boss Brendan Venter felt that the sin-binning of Alex Goode was the decisive moment in his side's 33-16 defeat by London Irish at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon.
Goode saw yellow three minutes into the second half for preventing a near-certain try by cynically slapping down Ryan Lamb's attempted pass. Sarries were 10-6 ahead at the time but by the time Goode returned to the field they were 11 points down, following a penalty from Lamb and tries from Delon Armitage and Sailosi Tagicakibau.
"The sin-binning swung the game - it was the issue today," Venter said. "I'll get myself into trouble if I debate the decision. We'll look at it again on Monday. But of course it was an issue. It was 10-6 at half-time then the sin-bin came and then we conceded 15 points.
"Give Irish some credit during the sin-binning, they started slow in the first half but got better. But the score was not a fair reflection of the game - that was a close match which was swung by other things."
However, Venter believes that the defeat will actually prove a blessing in disguise for Sarries.
"We'll be better for this. This will be the best thing that happens to us all season," the South African said. "It's a lot more fun when things are difficult. It's not enough of a challenge when you're only winning. The good thing is there are another 21 of these matches to go."
London Irish boss Toby Booth had little sympathy for Venter after seeing two of his own players - Delon Armitage and Paul Hodgson - shown yellow cards.
London Irish captain Clarke Dermody looks back on his side's win%]
"When Paul Hodgson was sin-binned they had a chance to get back into the game," he said. "We had two chances in four minutes and took them both. If you don't take your chances you get punished, but we did.
"The bottom line is four tries, a bonus point win and we move on. Brendan's view is irrelevant to me. The referee was consistent. The contest was very positive and both teams tried to play, which bodes well for rugby as a spectacle this season. I've backed my team 100%. There's been a lot of media attention on what this team can't do. Today we saw what it can do."