Larkham: It was clearly a try
Cape Town - Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham believes the referee is to blame for their Super Rugby quarter-final loss on Friday.
The Highlanders edged the Brumbies 15-9 in a wet and windy Canberra, knocking the home side out of the final four for the first time since 2012.
Larkham's men thought they had scored the winning try in the final moments of the game when reserve winger Lausii Taliauli powered over the line close to the poles, but referee Angus Gardner went to TMO George Ayoub, who deemed it short and awarded another scrum to the Brumbies.
"It was clearly a try for everyone who saw it," said Larkham in the post match press conference.
"I can't see how Lausii did not score that try... there's no other possible answer to what happened there.
"It's really disappointing that a game comes down to that. We should be in the semi-finals right now.
"I give credit where it's due and I think the Highlanders played really good football but I thought we played better. I think we deserved that win."
The Brumbies had several scrums in the final ten minutes of the game and it was a set piece that they had dominated up until then. Only a mammoth defensive effort from the visitors kept them at bay. Larkham heaped praise on his charges for their efforts, which he believed should have translated into a win.
"The guys did everything right in that game, it's hard for me not to comment on the refereeing," added the former Wallaby pivot.
"And then a couple of those scrums at the end – we had a dominant scrum the whole game and I don't think that changed at the end – it was really tough, I thought there should have been a penalty there at the end.
"Like I said, the boys did everything right, it was a see-sawing battle and we made a couple of mistakes but we got to the point where we deserved to win that game."