Cockerill defends tackle after Flood is cited
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has defended the tackle which threatens fly-half Toby Flood's participation in next weekend's crucial Heineken Cup clash at the Ospreys.
Flood, 27, has been cited for an alleged 'tip tackle' on Worcester's Andy Goode during Tigers' 19-14 Aviva Premiership win at Sixways on Friday night.
He will face a Rugby Union disciplinary hearing in London on Tuesday and, if found guilty, is almost certain to miss his side's biggest game of the season.
The incident happened in the second half and saw Flood tackle Goode near the half-way line. The former Leicester man fell on his shoulder when Tigers hooker Rob Hawkins joined in to finish off the tackle.
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Cockerill believed that although Goode fell awkwardly, he insisted there was no malice in the tackle.
"I think it was a genuine attempt at a good quality tackle," said Cockerill. "Clearly, Andy Goode ended up in an awkward psition. But with Rob Hawkins joining the tackle and pulling Andy to the floor with his collar, it made it look worse than it was.
"It looks awkward as he hits the floor but if you take the views of the commentators out of the way and look at it in the cold light of day, it was just unfortunate.
"It is not a tip tackle or a spear tackle. It was just a tackle which left Andy in an awkward position.
"There was no malice in it at all. Toby Flood is not that type of player and he has a clean disciplinary record.
"We spoke to Andy after the agme and he was ok about it. Nobody was hurt and these things happen."
Tigers centre Matt Smith has also received a level one warning, which is a written warning, treated as a post-game yellow card.
He was found to have made dangerous use of the elbow on Worcester's Alex Grove.