Coach Dan McFarland has slammed talk that there was anything suspicious about Ulster’s withdrawal from the scheduled Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash against the Sharks.
The match between Ulster and the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday was called off due to gastroenteritis infections in the visiting camp.
However, the Sharks’ US-based owner Marco Masotti questioned the postponement, describing it as “a joke” in a tweet that has since been deleted, and also suggested the Durbanites be awarded the match points.
“Is this a joke? Must be. Is this a professional sports league? Has this happened in other professional sports leagues? Maybe darts, curling, or pickleball? Just give us the points,” read Masotti’s deleted post.
“Independent medical testing confirmed both E. coli and Norovirus in tested samples,” read an Ulster statement. “All precautionary medical, nutritional, and Public Health advice was adhered to prior to any member of the travelling group falling ill.”
In the same statement, McFarland said the outbreak of sickness was “unprecedented”, then added: “It is disappointing, especially given how unwell our group was, that some chose to question the reasoning for our game to be postponed, as we have invested a lot as a group and an organisation in getting this fixture played.
“With players and staff now recovering, we are focused on getting home to start preparations for our upcoming fixture at Thomond Park.”
Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images