Wales international Gareth Anscombe has labelled a clash of kit colours between Cardiff Blues and Glasgow in their Heineken Champions Cup encounter on Sunday as “a disgrace.”
And Anscombe said that tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby should be held accountable.
The Blues and Glasgow both lined up in blue kits, with Glasgow’s attire a marginally lighter shade, and Anscombe – along with Blues head coach John Mulvihill and his Glasgow opposite number Dave Rennie – are not holding back in their criticism.
“It was a disgrace, really,” Anscombe said, following the Blues’ 29-12 Arms Park defeat.
“I don’t know who the guy’s job is to decide that, but he has got to face consequences for it. It was an out and out disgrace.
“It was sunny, and rugby is a hard enough game. I have never come across that in my eight years of playing rugby. Who is making those decisions?
“In a split second, it was tough to differentiate who was in your team. It’s a joke.
“We told the referee and the touch judges early on. They told us it was down to the home team to change jerseys, but I don’t think that’s fair. Glasgow should have been wearing a white jersey.
“We have a bit of a game-plan of who we run back at, and it got easier as the sun went down, but early on with the sun in your eyes, the jerseys looked the same to me. EPCR need to put their hand up for that.
“It’s a disgrace, and it has annoyed me. How, in this day and age, that has happened is bewildering to me. It should be one team in blue, one team in white, it’s not hard.”
Under tournament rules, each team have to have two kits for Europe, which are submitted before the start of the competition, and two weeks before each game, EPCR tell the clubs which kit they are wearing, while also asking them for any observations, Press Association Sport understands.
Rennie said: “The kit data gets sent in and they looked at the colours and said there was no clash.
“I’m not sure about that, and we would have been more than happy to bring our black (change) kit along.”
And Mulvihill added: “We complained before the game about the jerseys. The jerseys were exactly the same colour.
“It would have been an absolute nightmare for the referee, an absolute nightmare for the assistant referees, and running into that sun in that first half the boys couldn’t differentiate who was their team-mate and who wasn’t.
“It was ridiculous. We asked if we could change jerseys at half-time, but it just didn’t happen.
“We showed the jersey before the game, so they knew it was going to be an issue. It is part of the competition rules that those jerseys are shown to the competition body – it should not have happened.
“What the learning is from this is that both teams need to bring both kits, then the referee can make a decision on it.”
Glasgow ran out comfortable winners in the Welsh capital, but the real beneficiaries were Pool Three leaders Saracens, who are four points clear of their rivals heading into December home and away fixtures against the Blues.
Glasgow, beaten at home by Saracens last weekend, did not look back after fly-half Adam Hastings and wing DTH van der Merwe scored tries in the first five minutes.
Hastings also added a conversion and penalty before half-time, and when scrum-half Ali Price rounded off a crisp move early in the second period, the only serious debate was whether or not Glasgow would claim a five-point maximum.
Glasgow got there when lock Jonny Gray added a fourth try 12 minutes from time – again converted by Hastings – and there was no doubting their supremacy over a Blues side that fell way short of repeating last Sunday’s performance when they beat Lyon in France.
Wing Aled Summerhill claimed two consolation tries for the Blues, with Anscombe adding a conversion, but they were also chasing a game that, in truth, was beyond reach following Glasgow’s early onslaught.
Rennie added: “We were really clinical early on, and to score 12 points in five minutes set the tone.
“We are really pleased with the performance and we defended really well. We have to bring that intensity every week. Our set-piece was very good, our lineout was very good, and we countered their driving game very well.”