Leinster give their take on Maro Itoje and controversial penalty calls 4 years ago

Leinster give their take on Maro Itoje and controversial penalty calls

This could have had a huge bearing on the game.

Maro Itoje was a pain in the neck, all evening, for Leinster but he was fortunate to still be on the pitch at full-time.


The England forward was sent to the sin-bin after the half-hour mark. He returned for the second half and was as combative as ever, but gave away a couple of penalties and a stronger referee than Jerome Garces would have shown him a second yellow, leading to a red card.

Saracens were deserving winners and Itoje was part of a pack that forced their will on the game. That being said, Leinster fans were baying for him after he clumsily collided with Rob Kearney but was not cautioned by Garces.

Speaking after Saracens' 20-10 victory, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said:

"I think.. it was more Sean Maitland they were looking at. They’re very experienced referees with Jerome Garces and his two assistants as well.

"They are so many moments in the game… ultimately Saracens probably capitalised on their opportunities a bit better than we did.
"We’re gutted but we don’t want to blame anybody. There’s lots of learning for us for that game, how you play this type of team which tries to suffocate you and what our version of pressure rugby is against them.
"We probably didn’t quite get it right today but it's tough out there. There was some big moments that we didn’t quite get.
"The referee’s have so many big decisions to make, it was an incredibly hard game to referee. There were two teams fully committed and going at each other."