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Foley happy to have French referee Poite

IRELAND forwards coach Anthony Foley must have been wearing his Munster hat when he described Frenchman Romain Poite as "a world-class referee".

It is doubtful whether Leinster would hold the same opinion given how confused their coaches were at Poite's handling of their recent Heineken Cup pool match against Exeter and the PRO12 League Final against the Ospreys last May.

It was Poite's interpretation of the breakdown that was a constant source of frustration against Exeter; his ruling at the scrum which bamboozled in the 2012 PRO12 final.

This is not to denigrate Poite, merely to point out that there have been inconsistencies in his officiating that require considered and microscopic attention. Coincidentally, Foley earmarked the scrum and breakdown as two areas highlighted at the recent referees' conference.


"They are looking for a more fluid game, looking for quicker ball, looking for less time spent around scrums, looking to clean up certain areas of the game," said Foley.

"We've gone through the DVD that has been sent out from the referees' conference, so it is quite interesting.

"Fortunately enough, we have a very good referee first time up -- Romain Poite. I think everyone has had him in Europe at some stage.

"All referees allow a contest (at the breakdown) once it is fair and you are on your feet within the laws of the game.

"What they don't want is deliberately slowing down that ball, not rolling away, deliberate foul play, playing the scrum-half, slow retreaters. They don't want that in the game."