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Top 14 - Newspaper Review
Noves fumes at referee
Ian Moriarty
January 11, 2010
Toulouse's head coach Guy Noves takes part in a press conference at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris on June 27, 2008, on the eve of the French Top 14 rugby union final match Clermont vs. Toulouse. Clermont seeks a first win in their ninth such appearance, and a first in four such outings against this season's beaten European Cup finalists.
Toulouse coach Guy Noves had few kind words for the referee following his side's defeat to Clermont © Getty Images
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Toulouse coach Guy Noves could not conceal his disappointment following his side's 15-16 loss to Clermont Auvergne on Sunday. It was Toulouse's first home defeat of the season and one that could have been avoided, had Frederic Michalak been successful with a last-minute penalty.

"We're really disappointed because we put a lot into that match," Noves told La Depeche du Midi. "The result is very frustrating. We didn't collapse but it is still hugely disappointing."

Les Toulousains were guilty of giving away numerous penalties, particularly in the second-half, but Noves had few kind words for the performance of referee Jérôme Garcès, instead claiming that Michalak's last minute penalty attempt was taken from the wrong spot.

"That final penalty was incurred at about 15 metres out yet the referee gave it as 10 metres further out," fumed the veteran coach. "This referee was in charge at Toulon and that turned out a pantomime with the two yellow cards for Nyanga and Dusautoir. We didn't lose this game in that way but in the end did it did leave me unfulfilled."

Meanwhile Perpignan forwards coach Bernard Goutta insisted that he "never doubted" his side following their 31-12 demolition of Racing-Metro at Stade Aimé Giral. The Top 14 champions went into the game having lost four on the bounce but put in a five-try performance against the Parisiens, thereby re-igniting their hopes of play-off place.

"Last season, we won matches that we should have lost," Goutta told Midi Olympique. "This season, we've lost matches that we should have won. There are a lot of reasons for that: incoherent refereeing, at times, a loss of reality on our part and individual errors. Today we won most of the duels. But it was also about the collective force which came back out of individuals."

Castres prop Luc Ducalcon offered no excuses following his side's 15-0 defeat away to Montpellier on Saturday.

"Monpellier really went all out there to get the victory," said Ducalcon, who watched his Castres team surrender top spot in the Top 14 after the Montpellier loss and Clermont's win at Toulouse.

Speaking to l'Independant, Ducalcon added: "They took us on really well, especially up front and their kicking game worked really well also. We knew that this game could have been a turning point for us as we could have put seven points between us and second place. Instead, we botched it up."

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