Cockerill confirms Youngs claim

Congleton Guardian: Tom Youngs claims he was bitten against Northampton Tom Youngs claims he was bitten against Northampton

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill has confirmed that Tigers hooker Tom Youngs claimed he was bitten during the 22-16 Aviva Premiership win at Northampton.

Referee Wayne Barnes took no action over the 15th-minute incident, although he did refer it to television match official Trevor Fisher after hearing an unnamed player's allegation on the pitch.

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder confirmed he would speak to Saints skipper and England hooker Dylan Hartley about the incident, although it is unclear whether Mallinder meant because of his role as club captain or whether he was under any suspicion.

Match citing commissioner, former England lock Wade Dooley, is now likely to investigate the episode.

"Tom said that he was bitten on the hand by someone he didn't elaborate on." Cockerill said.

"The referee referred it to the TMO, and looked at it and there was clearly nothing to look at. Maybe Tom was mistaken. It will be looked at by the relevant people."

Mallinder added: "I don't think there was anything in it. I would be very surprised.

"I haven't looked into it, I have just come off the field. I will be speaking to Dylan about the incident. I would be very surprised. I have not spoken to Dylan about it, but I will do."

There was also controversy at the end of the game, when Barnes appeared to blow the final whistle fractionally early compared with the time showing on the stadium countdown clock.

Had play continued, Northampton would have had an attacking line-out with Leicester down to 13 players after scrum-half Ben Youngs and wing Vereniki Goneva had been sin-binned.

"Wayne told me afterwards he was told the game was over," Mallinder added.

"I don't quite know who told him that. I think he is in charge. We were disappointed with that.

"There was time on the clock. Their (Leicester's) physio got his hands on the ball, Ben Foden got the ball off him and there was still time on the clock. We were pretty disappointed, 15 against 13, not to have a line-out five metres out."

Leicester made it eight Premiership games unbeaten as they consolidated their place in the title play-offs at Franklin's Gardens.

Centre Anthony Allen's 16th-minute try - converted by fly-half Owen Williams, who also kicked five penalties - ensured east Midlands bragging rights for the Tigers as they moved third in the table above Bath.

Northampton, in contrast, never really got going, despite a Kahn Fotuali'i try, Will Hooley penalty and James Wilson penalty, and they also saw Hartley make a 31st-minute exit clutching his right shoulder.

"It's a good win for us," Cockerill added. "I thought we played some really good stuff. By and large, we controlled the game really well.

"The set-piece was good, Owen Williams' goalkicking was outstanding, and to beat them (Northampton) here on their own patch - the first time they have lost at home in the league this season - it is a very good result for us.

"Owen has been good for us. I thought he was really good today. He ran himself to a standstill. He coped with it really well, and those kicks under pressure were fantastic.

"The key for us is to be on good form going into a semi-final. At this point, we will be going to Saints or Saracens for a semi-final. We would like to think we can go anywhere and win."

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