Tigers stand firm on 'cheating' claims
Fri, 03 Jan 2014 15:50
There was no intention to question the integrity of the match referee
Leicester Tigers have stood behind their Director of Rugby and his cheating claims.
Cockerill openly accused Sale Sharks of 'cheating' at a post-match briefing in the wake of his team's 30-23 Premiership win at Welford Road last Saturday.
On Friday Tigers made it clear that he was also criticising the referee.
Cockerill was furious at the way Sale had scrummaged throughout the contest and let fly in his post-match press conference.
Cockerill said: "If Steve Diamond is coaching scrums like that we might as well go home because it's a waste of time" and also added, regarding the scrums themselves, they were a "debacle and hard for the referee".
Since then Steve Diamond has hit back at Cockerill's suggestions and the Tigers have moved to calm the waters by clarifying "the context of his remarks".
On Friday Tigers said Richard Cockerill and the club felt it necessary to clarify the context of his remarks.
"Richard spoke in response to specific questions regarding events in the set of scrummages close to the Sale Sharks tryline which eventually led to the award of a penalty try to Leicester Tigers," the club said in a statement.
"He believed there was a deliberate attempt by the Sale front row to not engage and/or withdraw from an engagement at the scrum in this phase of play, and in his view this was, potentially, an act of dangerous play and, therefore, potentially, a penalty offence and a yellow card.
"His comments about the referee were specific to that incident. Richard's view was that the match official, having previously refereed only seven Premiership fixtures, would not necessarily have come across this offence before.
"In retrospect, and away from the heat of the moment immediately following a tense and important league fixture, Richard says he could have more accurately characterised his description of the incident as 'gamesmanship' and also that there was no intention to question the integrity of either the match referee or opposite number Steve Diamond of Sale Sharks."
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