/ Rugby

Mark Anscombe rues Ulster's indiscipline

Updated: Saturday, 03 May 2014 15:29 | Comments

Tom Court was sent off in the 17th minute of Ulster's defeat to Leinster
Tom Court was sent off in the 17th minute of Ulster's defeat to Leinster

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe has bemoaned his side's indiscipline after a red card for Tom Court and a raft of penalties condemned the hosts to defeat against Leinster.

Anscombe had little complaint with the 17th-minute sending off, given for a tip-tackle on Devin Toner, but said that it shouldn't spoil Court's legacy.

The prop was playing his 154th game for Ulster and last at Ravenhill ahead of a move to London Irish.

“He [Toner] got lifted and he came back down and we know if you’re going to do that, you’re putting yourself in that position, so I can’t really argue.

“It’s not the way Tom would have wanted to leave Ravenhill but it shouldn’t take away from what he’s done for this club over the years."

Captain Johann Muller also made his last home appearance for the Northerners.

“Johann [Muller] has been an inspirational leader and a great man.

“They’ve really implanted their ways into Ulster and they’ll be remembered for forever and a day. You move on in sport but we’ll never forget them.

Anscombe said Ulster need to balance character and discipline.

“I’m frustrated with how we gave away penalties early on, and then lost a player, but we can’t really argue against it to be honest.

“Those indisciplines are hurting us and allowing teams to get a head start on us but we showed our character and we hung in there.

“With an ounce of luck it could have gone our way but our discipline has got to be better.

“We know we’ve got the character but we’ve got to balance that with being a bit smarter and having a bit more discipline at crucial times.

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor felt sympathy for Court but insisted the referee had no option under the rules but to send him off.

O'Connor suggested that a post-game sanction could be a more appropriate response than reducing a team to 14 men.

"Somebody may get hurt but it’s not a deliberate act and you probably need to follow the Rugby League model" - Matt O'Connor

“That’s the law. If you lift a guy up and he lands on his head or his neck it’s a red card," he said.

“I don’t have an opinion on it either way but I think we need to sit down and look at it at the end of the season because the high-ball incidents with red and yellows and the tip-tackles with red and yellows are changing the dynamic.

“There’s no maliciousness in those incidents, nobody’s trying to hurt someone else.

"Somebody may get hurt but it’s not a deliberate act and you probably need to follow the Rugby League model and have a report system where it doesn’t change the dynamics of the game.

“You sit down and look at it on Monday or Tuesday and determine what happens.

“Big guys running at full pelt, leaping in the air, can hurt themselves.

"We need to protect those blokes but we also need to look at it, take the emotion out of it and come up with the best way forward for the game.”

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