Ulster head coach Dan McFarland was left confused by the referee and TMO’s decision to disallow a last-gasp try which would have given them a win over the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.
The Stormers managed to hang on for a 23-20 victory at Cape Town Stadium after defending a three-point lead for a good portion of the second half.
However, the game was not without controversy as Callum Reid appeared to score a potential winning try for Ulster in the final three minutes of the match.
Referee Gianluca Gnecchi initially awarded the try, but decided to review it after a potential knock-on was brought to his attention. As Reid attempted to ground the ball, Stormers flank Hacjivah Dayimani knocked it out of his grasp.
A lengthy period of review then took place, before the officials agreed that Reid had lost the ball forward and awarded a scrum to the Stormers. From there, the Stormers won a penalty, allowing them to clear their lines and ultimately come away with a crucial victory.
However, speaking after the match, McFarland was clear in his view that the officials had got the call wrong.
“I’ve got to be careful about what I say here,” McFarland said. “But I can’t understand why that’s not a try.
“If it’s not a try, then why was it a knock-on? They deliberately knocked the ball out of our hands. I don’t get that.
“I’ll have to hear what they have to say about it,” he said.
After falling 14-0 behind in the first 10 minutes of the match, Ulster clawed their way back into the contest and dominated the second half through some excellent tactical kicking.
“In my head, we won that game, so we will move on,” McFarland said. “We don’t have the four log points, but there were a lot of positives.
“We got hit early. It was good play by them and poor by us. We grew as the game progressed – our aerial game, in particular. We also managed to generate a lot of momentum close to the line.”
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images