Pro14 referees 'not up to standard, credibility must improve' - Cockerill criticises officials

Ian Davies
Ian Davies took charge of Edinburgh's win over Connacht

Pro14 referees "have not been up to standard" in the opening three fixtures but "because it's Edinburgh, nobody seems to want to rectify it", says head coach Richard Cockerill.

Edinburgh earned their first win of the season in their first home outing with Friday's 17-10 victory over Connacht.

The Irish province conceded 15 penalties to Edinburgh's five but only received one yellow card.

Cockerill said Welshman Ian Davies "certainly didn't referee properly".

The home side dominated the first half and scored a try through Duhan van der Merwe after Connacht skipper Jarrad Butler was sin-binned for cynically slapping the ball from Henry Pyrgos' grasp metres from his own line.

Pierre Schoeman stretched Edinburgh's lead to 17-0 with a second-half try from a driving maul, before Connacht rallied with Niyi Adeolokun's score and Jack Carty's penalty.

Describing the win as "good but a bit frustrating", Cockerill claimed Edinburgh "didn't get the reward from the referee we deserved".

"When we score the second try, the referee's going to the TMO saying their 16 pulled it over," he told BBC Scotland. "There's already been 13 penalties given away - that player's got to go to the bin because it's negative play and you can't just keep letting teams get away with it.

"We don't get a replay for the yellow card when it's a clear line break. Is it a penalty try? We don't know because the referee can't see any vision of it. The credibility of these things has got to improve quickly because the last few weeks, the officiating has just not been up to standard.

"It's hurting us. My job is to make sure people stick up for Edinburgh. Unfortunately, because it's Edinburgh, nobody seems to want to actually look at it and rectify it, because it's just not good enough. The referees have to make sure these things are done properly."

'What are the consequences for the referee?'

Cockerill highlighted incidents in Edinburgh's first two league matches - narrow away losses to Ospreys and Ulster respectively - indicating officials had retrospectively admitted to making errors.

"Last week, the first Ulster try was crossing - he comes back and says, 'yeah, it's crossing, it should've been your penalty'," the former Leicester Tigers boss said.

"The week before at Ospreys, the last penalty from the line-out - 'yeah, they pulled [the Edinburgh maul] down, it should've been a penalty to you'.

"The straw that broke the camel's back - they send a referee here and it was just a mess. It wasn't a spectacle. It ruins it for everybody because one team comes to play, one team doesn't and the referee doesn't control the game as well as he should.

"What are the consequences for him? I know what it is for us: we don't get a bonus point or struggle to get a win and it's a really messy win. We're under pressure to perform - are the officials the same? I don't know.

Stuart Berry
South African Stuart Berry refereed Edinburgh's loss to Ulster last Friday