Tigers boss Cockerill slams inconsistent refereeing

Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill has slammed match referee Tim Wigglesworth after his team lost 24-20 to Harlequins in another controversial match for referee Tim Wigglesworth.

Last week Wigglesworth was in change of Bath’s fiery 18-17 west country derby win over Gloucester — a match Gloucester finished with just 11 men on the field after prop Sila Puafisi and scrum-half Tavis Knoyle were both sent off in separate incidents, with former England centre Mike Tindall and hooker Huia Edmonds sin-binned.

Wigglesworth also showed three yellow cards to Bath players and caused further angst by opting for uncontested scrums in a match decided by a 79th-minute penalty try.

While there may not have been quite as many cards in south-west London on Friday, the end of Leicester’s seven-match winning league run saw Wigglesworth award Quins a penalty try following a collapsed scrum.

“What frustrates me is that in three matches this season it has hit double figures in resets before it gets to that point (awarding a penalty try),” said Leicester coach Richard Cockerill, whose side remained third.

“I just want to know how it will be refereed because from one week to the next the rules are different.

“I’ll ask the question again and will get an answer, but who knows what will happen next. There’s no consistency.”

However, the former England hooker added: “If you’re inaccurate at the set-piece, you give penalties away and you concede field position, you’re going to get punished and we did.

“Quins are a good side, they’re dangerous when they’re on the front foot and they played well.”

England full-back Mike Brown scored a key try for Quins 10 minutes from time after they had slipped to 10-0 and 13-3 behind.

Fifth-placed Quins are now just a point behind Bath, with their final match of the regular season between the two clubs on May 10 a potential play-off decider.

“We’d love for it to come down to us against Bath in that last game,” said Quins boss Conor O’Shea.

“If we keep on winning then we’ll keep applying pressure and I’m sure there were a few people in the west country who were willing Leicester over the line, but it didn’t happen,” the former Ireland full-back added.

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