Lyn Jones: Errors cost Dragons, not the referee
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons boss Lyn Jones lambasted his team’s high error count rather than the referee after Leinster became the first away side to win at Rodney Parade this season.
The RaboDirect Pro12 champions sneaked a 23-19 success last night in another thriller in Newport with the visitors standing firm when defending on their own line at the death.
The frustrating display of Irish official Peter Fitzgibbon meant he left the field to a chorus of boos but the man with the frequently-used whistle got the two major calls correct.
First Dragons lock Adam Jones was yellow-carded for taking out one of Dominic Ryan’s lifters at a lineout – a foolish error that saw Leinster score 14 unanswered points to turn a 13-9 deficit into a 23-13 lead.
And then in the last minute replacement Jonathan Evans dived over from a quick tap but it was rightly chalked off for being taken from the wrong place.
Director of rugby Jones was left to point the finger at his players rather than Fitzgibbon.
“The refereeing doesn’t matter – we could have been a lot cleaner in our game,” he said.
“We were a bit unlucky at the breakdown but that’s the way it goes and we need to look at ourselves.
“The sin-binning came from an error that led to a penalty that led to us being back in our 22 – you can’t be there, rugby has to be played between the 22s, not inside your own.
“The only way to do that is be clean and return the ball, whether by hand or the boot. We have nobody to blame for this defeat but ourselves.”
The Dragons struggled under the high ball all evening and made 11 handling errors to Leinster’s three.
“I’ve got mixed emotions, the effort that the players are putting in is fantastic but at the end of the day unforced errors meant we couldn’t put any sort of pressure on our opposition,” said Jones.
“We gifted Leinster territory and that stopped us having the ability to score points.
“The way that it ended (the Dragons on the attack five metres out) is not important – we lost and there was 79 minutes before that.
“Leinster kicked the ball most of the game and didn’t need to play because we were putting the ball on the floor and giving them an attacking platform to come at us.”
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