Leicester Tigers 30-8 Exeter Chiefs, Aviva Premiership
Chiefs boss Baxter angered by TMO
September 29, 2012
Chiefs boss Rob Baxter left fuming by TMO

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter was quick to point the finger at the Television Match Offical following his side's 30-8 defeat to Leicester Tigers in their Aviva Premiership clash at Welford Road.

Baxter was left fuming after the TMO failed to spot some foul play in the build up to the second of winger Adam Thompstone's three tries in his first start for the club since joining from Premiership rivals London Irish in the summer.

After fly-half Ignacio Mieres had knocked on on his own line, he was taken out off the ball by Leicester No.8 Thomas Waldrom ahead of a 46th-minute try which gave Leicester a commanding 23-3 lead. Baxter admitted the try did not affect the result but he was furious the TMO had missed the incident.

He said: "It's very easy to say it has had an effect on the try. He (Mieres) has knocked on and as he goes to chase the ball he is taken out off the ball.

"What is it if it's not foul play and has not had an effect? To me that's why we have TMOs. Any team in the country would say that if he knocks on, the reason he can't chase the ball is because someone takes him out around the neck."

TMOs have been given more licence this season to look for foul play in the build-up to tries and Baxter said he had spoken to referee Tim Wigglesworth after the game. He added: "He said the TMO was looking at it and if he sees anything he can tell me."

Despite what he saw as the shortcomings of the officials, Baxter admitted his side were second best by some way. "That was one issue in a game where in various areas we were not good enough," he said. "I am not running away or making excuses for the result.

"We gave away too many loose penalties, our set-piece wasn't good enough and we did not take our chances. There's a lot of things for me to look at other than a TMO decision."

Leicester's director of rugby Richard Cockerill reflects on is side's win

Thompstone is the eighth player to score a hat-trick for Leicester on his first start and only the second since 1935. Fijian Marika Vunibaka was the last to do it in 1997. The 25-year-old, a replacement against Harlequins last week, only found out he was playing on Friday after Scott Hamilton withdrew due to injury.

His contribution was welcomed by Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill who said: "Adam is a quality player. He has had some horrific bad luck with injuries in the last three of four years and has been playing second team and getting his fitness because he missed a bit of pre-season with a bang on the head.

"We have had a lot of injury issues, guys dropping out on the day with illness and slight ailments, but I thought the attitude of the squad against a good side was fantastic. It was a very good performance and we defended exceptionally well so I was disappointed with their try.

"Before the game I'd have taken just a win. After the game you look at the opportunities we created and you'd be disappointed not to get a bonus point, which shows how good a performance it was against a good team.

"Our attitude to putting our bodies on the line was what we wanted and needed after last week, and I thought Toby Flood's reaction after taking some criticism last week was really good. He kicked well and ran the game well."

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