Declan Kidney proud of team but disgusted with referee after France draw

Irish rugby coach Declan Kidney

Ireland coach Declan Kidney was proud of his players after their Paris draw but annoyed with referee Dave Pearson.

The English official penalised the visitors time and time again in their 17-17 draw with the French.

Pearson was the official who postponed this game three weeks ago due to a frozen pitch but this time Kidney was hot under the collar after a day of mixed emotions.

“We did not come here to draw, we came here to win and to represent the people of Ireland in the best way possible,” said Kidney after his team had led 17-6 at the break.

“That is why I am immensely proud of the boys. I think that we went at it hard but we could not get that win we were looking for.”

Kidney did acknowledge to RTE Radio that he was ‘disgusted’ with the penalty count against Ireland after his team had raced into the lead through two converted Tommy Bowe tries and a Jonathan Sexton penalty.

France were awarded six second-half penalties, to one for Ireland, as they drew level thanks to a Wesley Fofana try and two Morgan Parra penalty kicks.

“I’d be disgusted with the penalty count,” said Kidney. “We’ll control what is within our control and hope to God that somebody who is in control on the other side will take a good look at that.

“We knew we wanted to move it around but the weather is, in the Six Nations, what it is and you must adapt to it. These games are hinged on small margins and there are enough small margins out there that are within our control for us to fix and be a better side the next time.”

Scrum-half Conor Murray is now a major doubt for Saturday’s game with Scotland after picking up a knee injury in Paris.

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