Tigers clarify Cockerill's outburst
January 3, 2014
Richard Cockerill let fly at Steve Diamond after their win over Sale © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers have moved to clarify Richard Cockerill's comments following their win over Sale after he said Sale came to "cheat and cheat and cheat ".
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".
"He [Cockerill] 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 Aviva 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."
Cockerill is no stranger to controversy involving referees as was handed a nine-match ban ahead of the start of the current season after an altercation with fourth official Stuart Teeharge in the Aviva Premiership final last term.
But the Rugby Football Union will not take action against Cockerill saying he has no case to answer.
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