Cockerill accuses Sale of cheating
December 28, 2013
Mark Cueto bagged a try for Sale © Getty Images
Cockerill accused Sale of cheating while Diamond said it was "fine' coming from someone who had had plenty of controversies with referees. Cockerill said Sale had consistently refused to engage properly at scrum-time in a game where the Sharks staged a brilliant second-half fightback to earn a losing bonus point.
And he blamed Diamond, Sale's former hooker, for the problem. "Sale were competitive but when sides come to cheat and cheat and cheat ....They were not engaging properly," said Cockerill. "In the first half we had a scrum and we engaged and they just backed out and we got a free kick.
"I wrote that on the half-time card and the referee then warned them in the second half that they were not taking the engage. They just walked backwards, so we got a free kick. If that is how we are going to coach scrummaging, it's no wonder scrums are a disgrace.
"If Steve Diamond is coaching scrums like that we might as well go home because it's a waste of time. You watch Montpellier v Leicester where we had two scrums who wanted to push. It was a great contest. That today was an absolute debacle and hard for the referee."
Diamond hit back, saying: "That's fine coming from an individual like Richard Cockerill. His controversies with referees go before him. It's for the referee to decide not Richard.
"I thought his side deserved the win. But if we want to go down the fine art decisions route there were four penalties in the last minute on their five-metre line where no yellow card was given. We have got equal things to discuss. He can bleat as much as he wants. Leicester should shut up, take the points and move on."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game