ESPN SCRUM

/ Heineken Cup 2013-14

/ Reaction

Ulster 15-17 Saracens
McCall: Payne red card was a game-changer
ESPN Staff
April 5, 2014
Ulster's Jared Payne catches Alex Goode in the air, Ulster v Saracens, Heineken Cup, Ravenhill, Belfast, April 5, 2014
Ulster's Jared Payne catches Alex Goode in the air © Getty Images
Enlarge

Saracens coach Mark McCall was mightily relieved after his side reached their second straight Heineken Cup semi-final with a 17-15 win at Ravenhill, but acknowledged that the first-half dismissal of Ulster full-back Jared Payne was a game-changer.

The hosts were forced to play most of the game without Payne, who was controversially sent off in the fourth minute after a shuddering tangle with Alex Goode, which forced the full-back off the field.

"Ulster deserve an enormous amount of credit after losing a man after five minutes," McCall said after guiding his team to a Twickenham date with Clermont.

"Not only from the effort they put in, but to also be as tactically astute and aware as they were was a great achievement and we're just lucky we got over the line at the end.

"It definitely wasn't intentional [Payne's collision] but it was reckless. You could argue both ways, but it's a big call to make five minutes into the match and it changes the match.

"At times we played some good rugby and at times our physicality was outstanding, but we kept on showing unbelievable indiscipline.

"We gave away too many penalties and we kept them in the game and we kept the crowd in the game, and we were fortunate to get away with the win."

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe felt Payne should have been shown a yellow card, but praised his side for battling through with 14 men and running Saracens - who scored three tries - so close, with an Ulster win a possibility right up until the final play.

"When you lose a pretty important player five minutes into the game, you're always going to have your backs to the wall," Anscombe said.

Was Garces right to send off Payne?

  • Jared Payne's red card for his hit on the airborne Alex Goode provoked outcry on Twitter. The vast majority of players who tweeted about the incident said Payne should have been red carded but there were a few who believed it to be have been harsh.
  • ESPN brings you a round-up of the reaction.

"It's unfortunate. It was a collision in the air and did it warrant a red card? I think we're pretty hard done by there.

"Sometimes I think with these it's the emotion of the injury [that] creates the penalty, and I think at worst it was a yellow card. To have a red card four minutes into the game meant we were always going to be chasing our tails.

"I've got to take my hat off to the boys to hang in there and, to actually be taking the game to them and trailing 17-15 in the 80th minute, we've got to be really proud of their effort.

"Jared, the whole time, had his eyes on the ball. I mean, how's that a red card? I think that's the emotion of the injury.

"You saw how difficult it was as, a couple of the tries they scored, we had numbers down. We went to the break at 9-5, which was a pretty good feat, and to keep it so close at the end... but that's the way it goes at times."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Golf - Joburg Open
    Golf - Honda Classic
    Tennis - Dubai Championships
    Tennis - Mexican Open
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    All Blacks to monitor Samoan mosquito virus

    New Zealand Rugby officials are confident a mosquito-transmitted disease in Samoa and an annoying drain won't threaten the All Blacks' historic Test in Apia

  • Football

    Rodgers: Liverpool missed creative spark

    Brendan Rodgers admitted Liverpool missed their creative spark after leaving several senior players at home as his side lost to Besiktas on penalties on their return to the Ataturk Stadium

  • Golf

    McIlroy recovers from shaky start at PGA National

    Even the best player in the world can apparently have a bad day once in a while, and it was a tough one on Thursday for Rory McIlroy at PGA National

  • Darts

    Chisnall moves top alongside Van Gerwen

    Dave Chisnall saw off Kim Huybrechts 7-4 to move joint-top of the Premier League Darts table, after Michael van Gerwen drew with Adrian Lewis in Belfast

  • Football

    Liverpool set to escape FFP fine

    Liverpool are expected to be cleared of any Financial Fair Play breaches on Friday, but Hull will be handed a small fine by UEFA

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!