Aviva Premiership
O'Shea unlikely to face action after outburst
ESPN Staff
January 8, 2013
Quins boss Conor O'Shea casts an eye over his side, Harlequins v Connacht, Heineken Cup, Twickenham Stoop, Twickenham, England, November 11, 2011
Conor O'Shea is sticking by his criticisms of referee Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts © Getty Images

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea is unlikely to face disciplinary action for his criticisms of referee Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts following Quins' Aviva Premiership clash with London Welsh on Sunday.

O'Shea was furious with the referees' performance after Quins beat London Welsh 31-26 at the Kassam Stadium. He claimed it was the worst performance he had seen, saying: "Everything [was at fault]. To have some element of knowledge of the tackle, of the offside line, of the maul, to have some knowledge of the game. We're accountable, other people are not accountable."

O'Shea is unlikely to face disciplinary action but has been criticised by Rugby Football Union's head of referees, Ed Morrison, for expressing his anger in public.

Talking to Sky Sports News, Morrison said: "I think Conor has some points that are valid as you would expect from someone of his stature but I would have preferred him to have kept some of those views private. But - by his own admission - he felt he couldn't stay private any longer.

"If they don't believe the (complaints) process is working - or working well enough - then we should be sitting down and having a mature discussion about how we improve the process."

Morrison added: "We haven't got a queue of people who go out on a Saturday afternoon in front of 24,000 people at Welford Road on his own and say 'I'm going to control this game'. These people are very few and far between.

"We have to utilise that resource, improve that resource as best we possibly can."

However O'Shea was unrepentant over his outburst as he stood by his comments.

"The truth is a good defence and I said nothing out of line," O'Shea told The Daily Telegraph. "I knew what I was going to say and I brought along someone from the club to act as a witness.

"It would have been remiss of me to stay silent. You can't do that forever. If you're asked a question about the officiating then you have to give an answer.

"Look, a ref's job is a tough old thing to do, as tough as it gets and I wouldn't do it. But once you commit to doing it, that's it. You have to do it well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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