Gary Gold refuses to criticise referees in public

GARY Gold insists Newcastle Falcons will continue to go through official channels rather than venting pubic anger at referees.

Quins number 8 Nick Easter runs into the Newcastle Falcons defence

GARY Gold insists Newcastle Falcons will continue to go through official channels rather than venting pubic anger at referees.

Friday’s 9-9 draw with Aviva Premiership high-flyers Harlequins again saw Newcastle hammered on the penalty count, Andrew Small awarding the controversial last-minute kick from which Quins’ fly-half Nick Evans rescued a dramatic draw.

Gold’s side had two men sent to the sin-bin as Chris Pilgrim and Rob Vickers were shown yellow cards, but the director of rugby fought the temptation to vent his spleen at a number of other calls.

He said: “You can mouth off as a coach against the officials but all you are going to do is get yourself into trouble.

“There is a system whereby you can file your report on how a game has been refereed and it is a system that works pretty well.

“Look, we all know the game is about 30 players and that is how it needs to stay.

“There is a 31st person on the field but we should not make it all about one individual.

“The game is there for the entertainment value, not for someone to officiate the death out of it, but I am not saying that did or did not happen on Friday night.

“All I am saying is that there are issues which lead to frustrations, but we will review that and put our report in via the proper channels.”

The South African added: “What I must say with some justification is the referees’ society, when we have highlighted things to them previously, have been very open and honest in coming back to us with feedback.

“They have not hidden behind anything.

Newcastle Falcons head coach Gary Gold

“The feedback has always gone back to the referee and we will just stick with that process rather than making heat-of-the-moment comments in public.”

Harlequins’ director of rugby Conor O’Shea demonstrated no such restraint in post-match comments aimed at Falcons flanker Taiasina Tu’ifua, the Samoan international visibly rattling the Londoners after a string of big hits.

Gold fired back at the criticism, adding “The simple situation is the previous week we went down to Leicester and were bullied off the park.

“We cannot afford to be bullied any more and you have to stand up in those situations.

“Is it my instruction to overstep that mark?

“Absolutely not – under no circumstances or in any way. I will never condone dirty play, but is a physical game out there and tempers get heated.

“Things happen out there and one or two situations occurred which did not go our way.

“As I have already said, I never condone dirty play but I make no apologies for the fact that we play a physical game.”

With a season-high crowd of 7,292 having been in attendance, Gold said: “Our fans were outstanding, and I am so appreciative to the crowd for coming out in the numbers that they did on Friday. Fair play to the club as well for making it £10 a ticket.

“It was a good gesture by our owner Semore Kurdi and our chief executive Dave Bell and it made a big difference.

“The fans deserve to have an evening’s entertainment without being hit too hard in the pocket, and we have not played well enough over the course of the season to demand anything more.”

With South Shields’ James Fitzpatrick a popular choice as man of the match, his director of rugby added: “Fitzy has come on in leaps and bounds, and I was so chuffed for him getting that recognition because he is such a hard worker.”


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