Champions Cup: Sale Sharks boss annoyed by sin-bin decision at Toulon

Mathieu Bastareaud
Sale led 7-5 at half-time but Toulon hit back in the second half in the south of France

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond has criticised the officiating which saw Kieran Longbottom sin-binned in their Champions Cup defeat at Toulon.

Toulon led 15-12 with five minutes to go, but after prop Longbottom's yellow card, they scored two late tries for a 27-12 bonus-point win.

Longbottom's tackle on hooker Guilhem Guirado was deemed dangerous.

"It was an outrageous decision by the referee and the TMO [TV match official]," Diamond told BBC Sport.

"If anything it should've been a penalty the other way for jumping into the tackle."

Mike Brown tweet
England and Harlequins full-back Mike Brown gave his thoughts on the incident

The loss was Sale's 10th in a row in all competitions and they have yet to take a point in the Champions Cup this season, but produced a much-improved performance against their Top 14 opponents.

"The referees have got to be absolutely clinical in these decisions which sway games," Diamond added.

"It is coming at the moment where games are decided by referee decisions, not by player errors or acts of brilliance.

"Coaches in Europe and the world now are expected to adapt to the changes in the tackle regulation where you've got to keep it below the shoulder completely, and we're attempting to do that - and then we're unfairly treated by the referees."

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