Monday, January 25, 2010
Ospreys beat Leicester 17-12 yesterday to advance into the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup as one of the two best group runners-up. The result is being disputed by the Tigers though, as the Ospreys fielded a 16th man during the game.
The Welsh region reached the last eight for the third year in a row as they knocked out two-time champions Leicester at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.
Leicester however are hoping for a lifeline after Ospreys appeared to have 16 players on the field for over a minute. Theyve made an official complaint after Lee Byrne played a role in stopping a Tigers attack.
He had gone off with a bloodied and dislocated toe, being replaced by Sonny Parker. When he came back three minutes later though, no Ospreys player left the field for over a minute.
"This was a very serious incident with a 16th player interfering with a try-scoring event at a crucial part of the game, said Tigers chief executive Peter Wheeler.
"We have lodged a complaint with ERC because at a significant point of the game the Ospreys had 16 men on the pitch, and that 16th man interfered with, or was involved in, a break by Ben Youngs and played a significant role in nothing developing from that.
"If you play a player who is unregistered, you get docked points and strung up and all sorts of bad things happen."
Referee Alan Lewis, who should have awarded a penalty at the time, was apparently told by an Ospreys player that Leicester also had 16 players on the pitch, an accusation that the Tigers strongly deny.
Leicester insists that the punishment should be severe, considering the outcome of the result. The Ospreys however are hoping that theyll get away with just a fine, and continue in the tournament, facing Biarritz in the quarter final in April.
"It was very passionate and a lot of things were said down there," said Ospreys coach Scott Johnson. "But its a matter for the officials to sort out. I want to concentrate on the footie."
This latest bit of controversy has been dubbed Subgate, following on from Bloodgate and Mudgate. Well update the article when we know the results of the appeal.
Do you think the Ospreys should be fined, have points deducted, or neither, with this simply being an unfortunate mistake by the officials? Let's hear your thoughts on the matter.
Note: Better highlights will be posted later in the week if possible