Rugby Union: Corkery shaken by slight of hand

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The Independent Online
THE England captain, Lawrence Dallaglio, displayed uncharacteristic petulance when he refused to shake hands with his opposite number, the Bristol flanker David Corkery, after yesterday's victory over Ireland.

Earlier, Corkery had been penalised for butting and punching the Wasps forward, but Dallaglio said afterwards: "I did not shake hands with him after the match because I was trying to get off the pitch. But we have swapped shirts."

Corkery said: "I went up to Lawrence but he refused to shake my hand. I've got my views on what happened and clearly Lawrence has his. However, rugby's a gentleman's game and what he did I didn't think was very gentlemanly. Lawrence is a good player and a great captain and I'm pleased we spoke after the game. We've now shaken hands and as far as I'm concerned that's the end of it."

Dallaglio was not the only person at Twickenham yesterday to be aggrieved by Corkery's undisciplined behaviour. Ireland's New Zealand-born coach Warren Gatland was especially displeased with the number of penalties Corkery conceded during the second half. "I want players to play with a lot of aggression," said Gatland. "But I don't want to see them going over the top - they must remain disciplined at all times."

A chastened Corkery admitted: "I've got no excuses for what I did. I saw an England player punching one of my team-mates, and I reacted - and that was a big mistake."