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The Offload: French television coverage disappoints again

French TV coverage

La Rochelle were worthy and deserving winners and Leinster can have no complaints based on their performance but one aspect of the afternoon that was disappointing was further examples of how French television coverage of matches in European tournaments do not show any ‘worthwhile’ replays of any contentious moments that do not favour the French club.

There were a number of La Rochelle clear-outs at rucks and tackles during the course of the match that warranted a second look or further investigation but not once was footage ‘available’. Yet on several occasions when a Leinster player was involved in an incident where La Rochelle might have benefitted from a replay they were shown ad nauseam.

It’s far too common an occurrence in the manner in which French television covers European matches for this to be an aberration. EPC Rugby are going to have to take some sort of proactive stance on the issue and ensure that there is a balance to the pictures that are made available and that they are not just at the whim of the French television director.

There is also a responsibility on the television match official to be vigilant in real time. It would be interesting to learn whether England’s Ian Tempest on duty at the Stade Marcel Deflandre was satisfied that he didn’t miss anything during the course of the 80-minutes.

The difference between the forensic replays available when games are played in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales and those of French television are poles apart. There’s also an element of it in the Six Nations Championship too. It shouldn’t be the case and it’s about time that the issue was meaningfully addressed.

Listen without prejudice

The match commentary team for Channel 4’s coverage of the Champions

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