Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup 2013-14 / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
Harlequins 20-6 Leicester
Coaches back decision to call-off Quins match
ESPN Staff
January 26, 2014
Bemused players wait in the middle of the pitch before the game was called off © Getty Images
Enlarge

Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill had no complaints about referee Gwyn Morris's decision to end their tornado-hit LV= Cup 20-6 defeat by Harlequins nine minutes early.

With 60 minutes having been played the result stands but both Leicester and Quins were denied a possible bonus point by the premature ending. Losing the opportunity to salvage a losing bonus point could prove costly for Tigers who are third in Pool Two, a point behind leaders Sale and level on points with second-placed Exeter. The 2012 LV= winners now have to win their home match against Bath next Friday night and hope their two rivals' results go in their favour if they are to qualify for the semi-finals.

Referee Morris called the players off after a vicious storm suddenly hit the Twickenham Stoop. Swirling winds, accompanied by torrential rain and a hailstorm, saw scaffolding come adrift with advertising hoardings and debris blown on to the playing area before the south-west corner of the ground was cordoned off.

"The referee handled it really well," Cockerill said. "The stadium manager and the referee managed it how they saw fit and the safety of the supporters is paramount. I don't think Quins' victory was in doubt at that stage. I think the game was past us.

"With nine minutes to go you would back yourselves to get a bonus point - but the weather was extreme. With scaffolding boards blowing on to the pitch the safety of the fans becomes all-important. You don't want a supporter getting hit by an eight-foot scaffolding plank from 50 foot because it will probably kill you.

"While it could affect the possible outcome of our group and who qualifies, sometimes it's about the bigger picture. You won't often find me saying it's only a game but it is - and it's not worth somebody getting injured."

The premature result makes no difference to holders Harlequins, who could not reach the semi-finals after losing their opening two group matches.

Head coach John Kingston said: "There's frustration from our point of view because that's what people end up talking when actually it was a decent game and Quins played some good rugby. We got the opportunity to get some players who have been out for a long time back on the park.

"I can understand why Leicester would be frustrated because they are seeking a bonus point, maybe to stay at the top of the group, and we were one try away from getting five points. But I have no problem with the decision because, at the end of the day, their job is to say 'No, it's not safe and until such time as we go up on the roof safety has to come first'.

"I can confirm that the game was called off because the stadium manager advised the referee that it wasn't safe to continue at that point so he brought the players off. The rules state that if 60 minutes is played then the result stands."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

    FA chairman Dyke to return £16,000 'gift' watch

    FA chairman Greg Dyke has confirmed he was given a £16,400 watch by the Brazilian FA during the World Cup but had no idea of its value and will return the gift

  • Football

    Pochettino unhappy with Belgrade banner

    Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was angered by an "unacceptable" anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan Belgrade fans in their Europa League opener

  • Golf

    R&A votes to admit female members at St Andrews

    The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews will allow female members for the first time in its 260-year history after an overwhelming vote in favour of admittance

  • Tennis

    Murray: Vote will not affect Team GB commitments

    British No.1 Andy Murray says he will still represent Great Britain in the 2015 Davis Cup regardless of which way the vote swings in the Scottish Referendum

  • Formula 1

    Drivers react to radio clampdown

    With much of the focus leading up to the Singapore Grand Prix surrounding the FIA's decision to restrict the amount of team to driver radio communications, F1's drivers have been reacting to the changes

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!