IRELAND head coach Joe Schmidt believes a “stronger” performance from South African referee Jaco Payper could have aided their cause following defeat to France in the Six Nations on Saturday.
A late hit on Jonathon Sexton in the first-half failed to earn a yellow card for lock Yoann Maestri and a high tackle on Dave Kearney also went unpunished, and the former Leinster coach came up with reasons why Ireland failed to triumph on Saturday.
After the 10-9 defeat in Paris, Schmidt said: “We are obviously massively disappointed. We had some opportunities in the first-half which we didn’t convert. We are probably a little bit disappointed that there wasn’t some action taken for a couple of things which happened off the ball.
“A stronger performance from some referees might have determined that (first half yellow cards) but you have to stay in the game and you have got to determine the outcome of the game and not rely on someone in the middle to do that. When there was a double up of foul play, it was a disappointment that there wasn’t a sanction.”
Schmidt also pointed to fatigue in the final 10 minutes from the Irish team and wasted opportunities in the opening period which came back to haunt his side in the second-half.
He added: “You always feel that you leave it behind when it’s a one point loss and you’ve had some opportunities that you didn’t take. We have got to be more efficient when we get down there and the conditions were pretty atrocious. It was very slippery and I think knock-ons by both teams were very high.
“We did tire a little bit but that was always a risk for us. I felt we needed to get a lead on them and while we got a small lead, we never got beyond a score. They managed to get that score.”