Bruce Craig, the owner of Bath Rugby, has confirmed that he will write to the EPCR, European rugby’s governing body, to request a replay of their first-round Champions Cup loss to Toulouse at The Rec, a game in which they lost 20-22.
The game was famous for Freddie Burns’ tremendous mistake where he failed to ground the ball for a certain try but Craig is taking aim at the game’s officiating as the reason to request the game to be replayed.
“I think the game should be replayed,” Craig told The Times, “and we will do what we can to get equity.”
First of all, the club are disappointed that the game was ended although there were two seconds left on the clock. If the game was allowed to continue, the home side would have had an attacking lineout just metres from the Toulouse line.
Secondly, the club are also pointing to the decisions made by the officials in handing down punishment to both Jerome Kaino and Lucas Pointud.
Both players were cited this week and both players have received subsequent bans. Ultimately, Bath feel they should have been red carded in the game which would mean playing against 13 men and therefore dramatically increasing their chance of winning the match.
Bath have already made their request known to EPCR and it is understood that a legal letter is set to follow.
“This is the European Cup, there are massive sporting and financial implications,” he said. “Bath have been majorly disadvantaged.
“This isn’t sour grapes, because maybe we wouldn’t have won the game, but that is not the issue.”
“There is a player welfare issue here,” Craig continued, in a stinging criticism of Andrew Brace, the referee. “In terms of his gross negligence, the referee is endangering the player.”