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Harlequins v Leicester Tigers - Cockerill frustrated by refereeing decisions


Angry Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill believed referee Wayne Barnes took "centre stage" in his side's narrow defeat at Harlequins.

Tigers got on the wrong side of Barnes' whistle early on and, a close game in terms of points scored, was far from close on the penalty count, which saw Leicester get hammered 15-6.

Cockerill was frustrated that his side's consistent infringing stopped them getting a foothold in the game and criticised Barnes' interpretation of the laws.

"I thought we were getting penalised for certain things and then I thought the opposition did the same thing but they weren't," he said. "Yet again, the officials take centre stage when we needed the referee to be a bit better.

"We'll now go through the appropriate channels to make sure that nobody gets told off. But it's too late after the game.

"Yet again it's the interpretation of the breakdown and us getting penalised and Harlequins not. I don't mind getting penalised, but only if both teams are getting penalised for the same things.

"There were a lot of offences for both sides, only we got penalised for them and they didn't.

"It was an horrendously one-sided penalty count considering the closeness of the game."

Cockerill's frustrations were exacerbated by the fact that his side had looked comfortable at half-time. Not only was a six-point buffer in place after tries from Toby Flood and Adam Thompstone had given Leicester an 18-12 lead, but they were stopping Quins make any healthy inroads into their own 22.

The high penalty count eventually caught up with Tigers, however, and Danny Care's brilliant individual score in the second half put Quins ahead for the first time as Tigers got more and more frustrated.

"Graham Kitchener ran our line-out well, Toby Flood was good at fly-half and he orchestrated the game well," said Cockerill.

"Across the board, we were pretty good and played some good stuff.

"The effort from the guys was great. It was a tight game and we lost. These things happen.

"We didn't quite take our opportunities to put pressure on them but it was a great try from Danny Care .

"We will take the point, re-group, and battle through this period. We will be up for the battle against Saracens next week and look forward to them coming to our nice, muddy pitch!"

Cockerill confirmed that centre Anthony Allen suffered no more than a "bump of his hip" in the second half as he was replaced by Matt Smith.

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers - Cockerill  frustrated by refereeing decisions

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