Cockerill fumes at referee after loss

Date published: September 28 2014

Richard Cockerill has laid into referee Greg Garner for his performance in the Tigers’ 22-19 home defeat to London Irish.

The Exiles won at Welford Road to continue their good start to the season, and pile the pressure on Leicester, who had been hammered at Bath a week ago.

But Cockerill was left furious at Garner’s decision to give just a penalty when Blair Cowan appeared to punch Jamie Gibson 25 minutes in.

Jordan Crane was later sin-binned for Leicester to increase Cockerill’s ire, with Shane Geraghty proving the matchwinner for the visitors with a last-minute penalty.

Leicester now sit in the bottom half of the table before next week’s trip to Kingsholm to take on Gloucester.

“I need to understand from the officials what the regulations are,” said Cockerill.

“If a punch in the face is a penalty and a ticking off – I thought it was an automatic red card – and a player who drops his shoulder into someone lying on the wrong side gets a yellow card… I need to understand that. I didn’t think the referee had a good performance.

“I’m unhappy with how he officiated and it was crucial to the game. Clearly, Greg Garner thinks it’s alright to punch someone in the face and it’s just a penalty.

“If that’s the rule we need to revamp it because in the semi-final a punch in the face is a red card. That’s not right, is it? Next week, if one of our players punches someone in the face, is that a penalty and we walk away?

“I don’t want any sympathy, I just want referees to referee properly. The Jordan Crane decision was pretty off the scale.”