PETER RUSSELL admits he and the Newcastle Falcons’ coaching team are regularly left “scratching our heads” at the standard of refereeing in both the Championship and the British and Irish Cup.
Accepting suchlike to be the “nature of the beast”, the Kiwi-born head coach has told his players simply to deal with it.
Russell felt a number of decisions by Irish referee Eddie Hogan-O’Connell went against his side during last week’s cup clash at Newport, despite a 26-10 victory.
Welshman Neil Perkins is in the middle for tomorrow’s return fixture at Kingston Park.
While Russell has charged his troops with managing the referee more successfully, he also believes they can better make light of his influence by performing to the “best of our ability.”
“A few decisions didn’t go our way,” said Russell (pictured below).
“They got back-to-back penalties and the next minute they’re scoring in the corner and we have a bit of a fight on our hands.
“Taking what we can out of the game, we can control what we can. We can’t control the referee but we can manage him better than we did.
“I think we’re going from an Irish referee to a Welsh one this week, so we’ll see how it goes.
“I think it’s the nature of the beast in this competition, and even in the Championship.
“We scratch our heads at times, but you know, you have to live with that, get on with it and do what we do well, play to the best of our ability.
“That’s what we’re asking of our guys week in, week out.”