Edwards confident Leeds will not suffer from pitch review

Diccon Edwards
Diccon Edwards
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LEEDS Carnegie head coach Diccon Edwards does not expect his club to be punished for the state of their pitch despite their game against Plymouth Albion being put under review by the Rugby Football Union.

The governing body yesterday announced they will be looking into last Sunday’s fixture against Plymouth Albion at Headingley Carnegie when the match was moved to uncontested scrums ~after just 13 minutes.

It was Leeds’s first game on their new £1m pitch but – after some early scrums collapsed with the surface cutting up – referee Matt Carley made the bold decision which left both sets of players bemused.

The West Yorkshire club went on to prosper 34-16 with a bonus point victory which took them up to fourth in the Championship.

Plymouth, who felt they had dominance in the set-piece, were understandably aggrieved and the RFU are now “reviewing the circumstances that led to the fixture moving to uncontested scrums”.

The worst-case scenario could see Leeds have to replay the match, but Edwards felt the match official rushed into the decision and argued Albion’s loosehead prop caused many of the scrum problems.

He does not expect any such penalty and believes Leeds will be vindicated.

“I’m not surprised there’s an investigation as the game went to uncontested scrums after 13 minutes,” he said.

“But I said at the time I thought there were problems with that decision.

“I’ve spoken to the referee development manager since and had a worthwhile meeting about the management of the game, both pre-match and during.

“There’ll be a review, but I don’t see anything significant that will affect us.”

Leeds, who have moved the game with Leinster A next Saturday to the John Charles Centre for Sport in Hunslet to give their pitch longer to bed in, head to Jersey tomorrow for their penultimate British & Irish Cup fixture.