ESPN SCRUM

/ LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup 2013-14

/ News

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.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Formula 1

    Being lapped by Vettel hurts - Ricciardo

    Daniel Ricciardo said being lapped by race winner and former team-mate Sebastian Vettel was "the icing on the cake" after another frustrating race for Red Bull in Malaysia

  • Formula 1

    Allison explains Ferrari win and why a repeat will be tough

    James Allison is not convinced Ferrari will be able to repeat its performance in Malaysia at the Chinese Grand Prix in two weeks

  • Formula 1

    Ferrari like 'a perfect Italian watch' - Arrivabene

    Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene never doubted Sebastian Vettel could be a contender in Malaysia but he says Ferrari must not get carried away with one victory

  • Formula 1

    Penalty points for Maldonado and Force India pair

    Pastor Maldonado has been handed three penalty points to his super licence for exceeding the speed limit under the safety car at the Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Football

    I love playing where football was invented, says Sanchez

    Alexis Sanchez says he is loving playing for Arsenal in the Premier League

  • Week in Words

    Old dog, new tricks

    In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Dion Dublin makes something of a career change, RFU officials have some harsh words for the national team, and Kell Brook is eyeing a bigger prize...

  • Football

    A Klose call

    Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?

  • Formula 1

    F1 cost cutting: Not putting money where the mouth is

    Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...

  • Formula One

    Tough at the top

    Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?

  • Rugby

    Unsavoury sledging did not end with Potgieter

    Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income