Owen Doyle: Referee Luke Pearce far from perfect in fraught final

Referee was never far from the centre of attention, some of his own making, some not

Referee Luke Pearce gestures during the European Champions Cup final  between La Rochelle and Toulouse at Twickenham Stadium. Photograph:  Adrian Dennis/AFP

Referee Luke Pearce gestures during the European Champions Cup final between La Rochelle and Toulouse at Twickenham Stadium. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP

The US defence secretary under President George W Bush was Donald Rumsfeld. He famously informed us about his “known unknowns”, and also his “unknown unknowns”. According to his lexicon, these are things we know we don’t know; and things we don’t know we don’t know. Confusing, maybe not?

Owen Doyle is a former Test referee and former director of referees with the IRFU

As Ronan O’Gara and Jono Gibbes unpick what happened at Twickenham, they may well find themselves searching for the answers to the unknowns of La Rochelle’s first major final. The most critical moment came when Luke Pearce, quite rightly, red-carded Levani Botia, and La Rochelle had to play for an hour with 14 men. The incident was well handled.

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