Matterson hopes referee frustration doesn’t cost his players

USA coach Terry Matterson says his players were left frustrated by a lopsided penalty count in the second half of their defeat to Scotland.

Thierry Alibert handed them 12 penalties in the second half, and none to the Bravehearts, as USA squandered an 8-0 lead to go down 22-8.

The game got niggly in the closing stages, and Haveatama Luani was placed on report late on for a high shot.

He joins hooker Tui Samoa in facing a nervous wait to see if they will miss out on the quarter-final against Australia on Saturday week.

Matterson said: “I’m disappointed with the penalty count. How do you go from that first half, to 12-0 penalties in the second half?

“They’re not all wrong, but there was a few, and we’ve got to look at some of our discipline.

“We got frustrated, and it makes it dangerous for the players when that happens. 

“The Luani one was a bit of frustration, and hopefully that’s taken in to account.

“But I’m going to draw a line in the sand here, and give the guys a break. They’ve been wonderful.”

Captain Joseph Paulo also revealed he had difficulty communicating with the French referee throughout the second half.

Fortunately for the Tomahawks, their quarter-final place had already been assured, thanks to Tonga‘s win over the Cook Islands.

Having played three games in eight days, the Tomahawks now enjoy eight days off until they play Australia in Wrexham on Saturday November 16.

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