Leicester Tigers' Richard Cockerill fumes at referee's 'guessing'
Exasperated Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has appealed to the game's top brass to "educate" referees after launching a scathing attack on Saturday's official Andrew Small.
After watching his side jump to third place in the Aviva Premiership table with a thrilling 17-12 win over Gloucester, Cockerill said the RFU's head of elite referee development, Ed Morrison, had to put a stop to the inconsistencies which he thinks are ruining the game.
Small handed out four yellow cards, but Cockerill felt Gloucester should have been more harshly dealt with in a scrum area that Leicester dominated.
"Enough is enough. It has to end," fumed Cockerill, who could barely contain his anger.
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Responding to the official's interpretations of a set-piece, which saw the visitors penalised 10 times, Cockerill claimed that Small "didn't understand the game" and that he was "guessing" on a number of crucial calls.
It is not the first time Cockerill has been dismayed by the performance of referees this season. Alain Rolland's display in Treviso causing him particular ire.
It seems Saturday's contest was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Tigers won a thrilling game as Anthony Allen's second-half try helped them overcome a 9-3 deficit.
"We had a massively dominant set-piece because we spend our money there," said Cockerill. "We train hard and we work at it but we didn't get the reward we should have.
"They were destroyed for most of the game, they got penalised 10 times there, got warned twice and only got one man in the bin. Where is the consistency? 'Guessing' is the word I use.
"It's not good enough. Big games decide championships and European places. They have to get it right, yet Gloucester were allowed to do whatever they wanted.
"Sides come here and push the boundaries, which is fair play to them, but they don't get refereed.
"Every time we were in our half, we got penalised and they kicked at goal.
"When we carried the ball, they were in at the side and cheating the whole time. The referee didn't manage it.
"This is a professional era now and we spend all of our time doing our research on referees. Yet today, the scrum was refereed so poorly, what's the point?
"We need to educate them (referees) and Rob Andrew (RFU director of elite rugby) and Ed Morrison need to do that.
"If the refs don't do it right, they shouldn't get the games," added Cockerill.