Vodacom Super 14

Walsh upsets Hurricanes fans

2010-03-22 10:52
Under fire (File)
Pretoria - Former New Zealand referee Steve Walsh came back to haunt Wellington fans yet again with a controversial performance in the Hurricanes' 19-18 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria.

According to The Dominion Post, Walsh, now refereeing under the Australian banner, blew a string of questionable penalties against the Hurricanes in the second half after they had led 15-10 at the break.

With two tries, to openside Karl Lowe and lock Jeremy Thrush, in the first half the visitors looked set to end the Bulls' home winning streak at 14.

But Walsh's calls, as they did in the infamous Ranfurly Shield match against Canterbury in 2001, suddenly went against the Wellington-based team.

With the Hurricanes leading 18-10 after Willie Ripia's second penalty, Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn capitalised on the following questionable calls.

Prop John Schwalger was penalised for collapsing a scrum, wing Tamati Ellison awarded a mark he didn't call, a pinned Ma'a Nonu penalised for not rolling and blindside Victor Vito sinbinned for collapsing a maul.

Referees' boss Lyndon Bray couldn't be reached for comment on Walsh's performance, but Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper admitted he was "disappointed" with a number of calls but was "proud" of his team's discipline and defence.

He believed they would take a number of positives out of their final tour match.


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