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Warriors wrongly hit by Premiership referees
THE early stages of the Aviva Premiership’s independent referee audit system has so far shown up a concerning disparity between the treatment of Worcester Warriors and their opponents.
The newly-introduced initiative, which is jointly-funded by Premier Rugby and the RFU, means an independent official assesses all matches and produces a report on how they believe the penalty decisions should have been given.
So far this term the analysis has shown worrying trends against Worcester with both the opening day loss at Leicester and Saturday’s home defeat to London Irish suggesting Warriors were incorrectly penalised more frequently than their opponents.
Sixways director of rugby Dean Ryan is eager not to come across as blaming his side’s two defeats on poor refereeing, but he feels Warriors are not starting games on a level playing field.
“Some of it is out own fault,” admitted Ryan. “But I am challenging the fact we don’t start each game with a clean sheet.
“We are a new team with new management and, in the first two games that we’ve had, I don’t feel that’s been the case.
“I’m asking for clarity as to why an independent person finds such a disparity between penalties against us and against anyone else.
“I believe we have the highest penalty count in the league, yet from our first game there were seven that shouldn’t have been given, compared to two (against Leicester).
“Then there were nine omissions against London Irish, who should also have had two yellow cards. I have to question how that can happen.
“I can understand things being wrong across an 80 minutes, but I can’t understand there being a nine-two spilt against us. That alone is a reason to ask what the hell is going on, because it doesn’t stack up.”
The former England number eight added: “At Welford Road, there were severn wrong penalties against us, according to the independent audit. Against London Irish, nine of the penalties against us were wrong — that is an independent person’s view.
“It’s not the numbers that is the disparity, it is the gap between the two teams — 7-2 and then 9-2 against us.
“We’ve got to get better too — I’m not trying to remove us from blame as we do stupid things too, but that doesn’t mean were allowed to be easy meat to throw anything at.
“There were two yellow card omissions from the weekend. I’m not questioning individual penatlies, but I’m quite within my rights to ask why. there’s such a difference between the two teams.“
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