Full-time: Cardiff Blues 10 London Irish 6By Alan Manicom
February 02, 2013
Brian Smith was left fuming at referee Ian Tempest's decision to allow a try which may end up costing London Irish their place in the semi-finals of the LV= Cup.
Exiles' director of rugby was adamant that Gavin Evans' try six minutes before half-time should never have been awarded.
He insisted that London Irish full-back Tom Homer had ensured the ball had gone dead before it squirmed out from his grasp.
Smith said: "We've had a look at the tape and I don't think it was a try.
"Tom Homer got the ball down - and a Cardiff player did not even touch it.
"It was disappointing. The referee went to the assistant referee and I think they got it wrong, but that's by the by.
"Our blokes are very disappointed."
Homer kicked a penalty in each half for Irish and also struck the inside of a post with another.
Cardiff's impressive fly-half Rhys Patchell kicked well out of hand and was successful with one out of his three penalty attempts, as well as converting Evans' controversial try.
There was little exciting rugby played, though, on a rain-soaked quagmire surface that got worse as the game progressed.
Smith continued: "It was a lottery out there.
"The pitch was a mess and it was a pity as we had so much to play for."
If Irish are to hang on to top spot and go through as Pool 3 winners they will need Worcester to deny second-placed Saracens victory at Sixways this afternoon.
Saracens are two points behind Irish going into their final pool game.
And Smith insists he has not given up hope, adding: "Saracensstill have to get a result at Worcester.
"In the ideal world we would have got a result to be in control of our destiny, but we'll wait and see what happens."
Irish, who return to action in the Aviva Premiership at home to Saracens next Saturday, at least came through last night's match without any new injuries.
Cardiff boss Phil Davies said: "We played some good rugby in the first half and showed a lot of guts in the second."
"For us to get a win against a quality side like that is very pleasing, especially as they brought their full-strength line-up."