Cock­er­ill be­wil­dered by PRO14 of­fi­ci­at­ing

The Rugby Paper - - Guinness Pro14 - ■ By GARY HEATLY

ED­IN­BURGH head coach Richard Cock­er­ill slammed the of­fi­ci­at­ing in the PRO14 fol­low­ing his side’s stut­ter­ing win over Ze­bre on Fri­day night.

Cock­er­ill has been crit­i­cal of ref­er­ees in re­cent weeks and was fu­ri­ous with Ital­ian ref­eree Mar­ius Mitrea af­ter this one.

He said: “It is hard to play any type of rugby when the game is poorly of­fi­ci­ated. We have had some re­ally, re­ally bad calls in the last four weeks.

“This week there seemed to be no off­side line; for the com­pe­ti­tion to have any cred­i­bil­ity that has to be looked at be­cause I have not seen any­thing like it any­where else I have coached.

“We can all see it, so why are things be­ing ig­nored?”

Af­ter a strong start by Ze­bre, Ed­in­burgh fi­nally got them­selves into pro­ceed­ings and won a series of penal­ties which led to Ja­son Tovey open­ing the scor­ing for 3-0 on the ninth minute.

Still it was Ze­bre with most of the pos­ses­sion and they made it count mid­way through the half when South African back row Jo­han Meyer barged through a cou­ple of poor tack­les for an un­con­verted try.

Ed­in­burgh needed some­thing to spark them into life and got it through Stu­art McInally.

The 27-year-old hooker re­ceived the ball in mid­field just inside his own half, went through a cou­ple of tack­les and then pinned his ears back to touch down.

The con­ver­sion gave Ed­in­burgh a 10-5 lead but with plenty to work on in the sec­ond half.

And it was Ze­bre who nearly added their sec­ond try soon af­ter the break. A great run through the mid­dle by re­place­ment Ciaran Gaffney set up winger Gio­van­bat­tista Ven­ditti, but the ball was lost for­ward.

Re­place­ment Dun­can Weir kicked a penalty to make it 13-5 to Ed­in­burgh in the 57th minute, but Ze­bre were soon just a point be­hind when No.9 Mar­cello Vi­oli charged down a kick by op­po­site num­ber Nathan Fowles to run in for the con­verted try. And with 14 min­utes to go the Ital­ians took a 15-13 lead with a Vi­oli penalty.

Ed­in­burgh had to dig deep and three min­utes later they earned a penalty within range and Weir kicked the points.

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