Opposition view: Wasps boss Blackett unhappy with TMO and 'soft tries' after defeat at Saints

Wasps boss Lee Blackett was angered by the TMO and by the concession of some 'soft tries' as he saw his side beaten 30-25 at Saints on Saturday.

Sunday, 30th May 2021, 12:43 pm
Updated Sunday, 30th May 2021, 12:46 pm
Wasps boss Lee Blackett

Blackett's team showed plenty of spirit, pulling level on three occasions during the first half at Franklin's Gardens.

But they were eventually undone by a Tom Wood try eight minutes from time.

Blackett was unhappy as he felt Dan Biggar should have been punished for what he believed was an illegal clear-out on Jacob Umaga.

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And Blackett also believed there was a knock-on from David Ribbans in the build-up to Wood's score.

The Wasps boss was highly critical of TMO Graham Hughes after the game, feeling he didn't give enough support to inexperienced referee Adam Leal, who was taking charge of just his 11th Premiership match.

“I thought the TMO chose when he wanted to come in and when he didn’t want to,” Blackett said.

“I think when you’ve got young officials out there on the field, you need experience.

"Graham Hughes has that, but I do not think he wanted to look at the incident with Dan Biggar.”

Hughes was the TMO at Twickenham when Saints won the Premiership final in 2014, telling referee JP Doyle he could 'award the (Alex Waller) try' that won the black, green and gold their first, and so far only, Premiership title.

He was also the TMO when Wasps travelled to Newcastle Falcons in round 14 this season, a match in which Falcons winger Mateo Carreras made contact with the eyes of Josh Bassett.

The Argentinian escaped punishment on the night before later being cited and banned for nine weeks.

On that occasion, Anthony Woodthorpe was refereeing just his fifth Premiership match.

And Blackett said: “Again, there was a young referee at Newcastle and he had Graham Hughes who had the experience. We all know what happened then."

Blackett didn't purely blame the officials for his side's defeat, also bemoaning how his players allowed Saints to rack up three scores at the Gardens.

"All three tries were pretty soft," he said.

"The first try was penalty, penalty and we were soft on the drive.

"The next one was a penalty try by our own accord, and then the third one, you're looking at the lineout in the corner.

"If you look at all three tries, they're pretty soft.

"There was some quality shown at times, we had a few injuries to players along the way.

"I felt the bounce of the ball definitely didn't go our way at times and definitely those refereeing decisions didn't go our way."