CROCKANASIGA Ban and injury fears leave England star on the edge
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.