CROCKANASIGA Ban and in­jury fears leave Eng­land star on the edge

Sunday Mirror - - TRAVEL - BY ALEX SPINK at The Re­cre­ation Ground

ENG­LAND star Joe Cokanasiga was left crocked and sweat­ing on a pos­si­ble ban as Bath headed to­wards the Euro­pean exit door.

On a con­tro­ver­sial day at the Rec, the West Coun­try out­fit paid for wind­ing up Le­in­ster by ban­ning their fans’ flags from the ground.

They then saw their gi­ant winger pe­nalised for a high tackle which could well in­ter­est the cit­ing of­fi­cer, be­fore hob­bling off in pain with a leg in­jury.

Bath boss Todd Black­ad­der said: “Joe suf­fered a big knock and we’ll have to wait and see how se­ri­ous it is.

“I think the ref­eree got it right (with his tackle)but we were prob­a­bly a bit lucky to dodge a yellow card. When you see those pic­tures it al­ways looks a bit dan­ger­ous.”

That was as for­tu­nate as Bath got as the for­mer cham­pi­ons were handed their sec­ond home de­feat in the com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion to con­fis­cate 1500 ban­ners flown over for trav­el­ling fans. Tries ei­ther side of half-time by Sean Cronin and Jor­dan Lar­mour set­tled the Pool 1 clash and left Bath with­out a win half­way through the Cham­pi­ons Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign - though only af­ter Le­in­ster had let rip on so­cial me­dia.

“We brought 1500 flags o over to­day’s game and @ b bathrugby are re­fus­ing to let u us dis­trib­ute them,” the Dubl lin out­fit com­plained. “They a are say­ing that the flags failed a health and safety test.

“These flags have been p passed safe by air­ports and sta­dia all over the world. We w would like to apol­o­gise to sup­port­ers for this.

“We did ev­ery­thing we could to get the flags from Bath but they wouldn’t re- lease them.” Bath re­sponded: “We’re re­ally sorry – the flags were tested against three safety cri­te­ria & failed all three, in­clud­ing fire. We have to take safety se­ri­ously, but re­alise it’s dis­ap­point­ing.”

The home team’s day went from bad to worse de­spite turn­ing in their best per­for­mance.

Level at 7-7 and giv­ing ev­ery bit as good as they got, a crooked throw by Cronin looked to have gifted them pos­ses­sion.

French ref Mathieu Ray­nal al­lowed play to con­tinue and home fly- half James Wil­son, tossed out a spec­u­la­tive pass.

But in­stead of play be­ing called back, Bath watched in hor­ror as Lar­mour was al­lowed to in­ter­cept the ball and run it back 45 me­tres for the try.

“It was a big mo­ment in the game for sure,” ad­mit­ted Le­in­ster boss Leo Cullen.

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