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Johann Van Graan hails ‘class’ character of Joey Carbery but Andy Friend left ‘frustrated and annoyed’ by refereeing

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Joey Carbery of Munster scores a late conversion to win the United Rugby Championship match against Connacht at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Joey Carbery of Munster scores a late conversion to win the United Rugby Championship match against Connacht at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Joey Carbery of Munster scores a late conversion to win the United Rugby Championship match against Connacht at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has hailed Joey Carbery's character after the out-half bounced back from a high profile error to nail the winning kick against Connacht at Thomond Park.

With 10 minutes to go, the Ireland out-half had a clearing kick charged down by Jack Carty who collected and scored to put the Westerners in front, but he stayed in control to deliver a tough conversion after Diarmuid Barron scored a try with 90 seconds remaining.

“I haven’t specifically spoken to Joey. In every game, especially as a No 10, you’ve got up and down moments," van Graan said.

"The important thing for him mentally is that he stayed in the game and that is the sign of a class player to make that conversion but it is a 23-man game and it took everyone to get us into that position.”

Van Graan was relieved to come away with a fourth win of the season after a fearsome Connacht display.

“I’m glad that its finished," he said.

"It was a very physical interpro. Both sides gave it all they got, small margins, that’s the beauty of Irish rugby.

"We weren’t accurate enough in the first half specifically but good teams score when it matters and the try before half-time was a big moment.

"We had a very strong wind in the second half and from a territory point of view we managed it pretty well and managed to come back from the charge down and finish the game pretty well.”

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His opposite number Andy Friend was left frustrated by the officiating after Chris Cloete's first-half try was allowed by referee Chris Busby.

Cloete pounced on Tadhg Beirne's neat touch to score, but replays showed that the Lions had been in front of Rory Scannell's kick in the build-up. The score took place when Sammy Arnold was in the sin-bin for a high tackle and the Australian was also unhappy with that decision.

“It hurts, it hurts to lose a game like that, I thought we were the better team, the scoreboard does not tell you that, we ask for consistency in this game, I didn’t think we got it," he said.

“For Tiernan O'Halloran's try, it is a knock-on, the correct decision was made then, the ball went forward, that was fair enough, it did go forward. But there was a lot of time spent to get that decision. I thought the yellow card for Sammy Arnold was a very harsh call.

“I then thought, in fact I know, when (Scannell) puts the crossfield kick in that you have got Tadhg Beirne offside.

“It doesn’t get looked at. It doesn’t get pored over in the same manner.

“So they end up getting seven points for that.

“And at the end of the day they win by two points.

“So I am frustrated and annoyed by that.”

Asked if he feels Connacht get a raw deal, Friend said: “I will let others decide. We very rarely end up on the right side. If it is a 50/50, it very rarely goes our side. It is hard.”


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