Harlequins 25-21 Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership
Cockerill hits out at Barnes officiating
ESPN Staff
February 16, 2013
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill watches his team warm-up. Harlequins v Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership, Twickenham Stoop, London, England, February 16, 2013
Leicester director of rugby watched his side slip to a loss to Harlequins © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Richard Cockerill | Conor O'Shea
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Leicester Tigers' director of rugby Richard Cockerill was left fuming at the performance of referee Wayne Barnes as he watched his side slip to a 25-21 loss to Harlequins.

Danny Care scored a second half try and Ben Botica added 20 points with his boot as the reigning champions leap-frogged the Tigers to return to the top of the table. However, Cockerill felt that Barnes was not consistent in his officiating.

"The discipline was disappointing in the game for us. Some of that was ourselves and some was down to the officiating, which at times was disappointing," Cockerill said. "I thought we were getting penalised for certain things and then I thought the opposition did the same thing but they weren't. 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 where we feedback and we will decide whether it's right or wrong, 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."

Harlequins' director of rugby Conor O'Shea meanwhile was effusive in his praise of Care, who was released back to the club from England duty.

He has missed out to Leicester's Ben Youngs for the starting place in the England team, but O' Shea has no doubt that he could easily slip into the starting team if Stuart Lancaster decides to alter his selection later in the Six Nations.

"That was world class out there tonight," O'Shea said. "You're fortunate to be able to watch those types of moments," O'Shea said. "From Stuart Lancaster's point of view, he must be thinking, 'I've got Ben Youngs and Danny Care - how lucky am I?

"From my point of view, we love having him back. He got stuck (in) and got physical; looking at the team we were physical we were magnificent. I'm always going to back my own player. Danny's outstanding. From Stuart Lancaster's point of view there are two Lions-standard scrum-halves competing."

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