JIMMY Cowan has slammed the “inconsistent” refereeing of JP Doyle after losing his last game in a Gloucester jersey.
The Cherry and Whites were continually pinged by the Dublin-born official, while Worcester Warriors appeared to get away with similar infringements at the breakdown.
Gloucester saw two players, Jonny May and Rob Cook, sent to the sin-bin during the Sixways defeat.
Cowan, who captained the side, admits Gloucester did themselves no favours but insists they were not helped by the ever-changing interpretations, and lack of clarifications, from Doyle.
The former All Black said: “That (inconsistencies) is exactly what I said to JP after the game. All I ask for as captain is to have consistency and we didn’t get that.
“He was penalising us for doing something and vice versa for them. We tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t give us an answer.
“I don’t want to bag the ref but I thought he was poor from a consistency point of view and that’s disappointing.
“We couldn’t adapt and we couldn’t change what we were doing because we didn’t have an understanding of what he wanted at ruck time – I’m still trying to find answers as to why Rob Cook was yellow carded.
“That really hurt us, being a man down, especially when it’s your full-back, with 13 minutes to go.
“But we shouldn’t need to use that as an excuse, we have to look at ourselves. There were things in the game that let us down and we just have to take it on the chin.
“We still had a chance to win at the end, we had a kick to win the game and a driving lineout.
“It’s very disappointing, they haven’t won here all year and we come 10 minutes down the road and lose. It sums up our season and where we have been as a group.”
While Cowan will leave Kingsholm in the summer, nothing regarding his future has been decided after a move to France, believed to be with Stade Francais, fell through.
The scrum-half is still in talks with several Top14 clubs and hopes to have a deal finalised in the next month.
And despite playing his last game for the Cherry and Whites he is optimistic about the future.
He added: “It’s been tough, I’ve sorted nothing but am in constant talks with a lot of French teams. It’s not as easy as it sounds but I have the BaaBaas to look forward to and a World XV game so have a good bit of rugby yet.
“The boys that are here next season will look into this campaign and build for the future.
“We’ve been poor there’s no doubt about that and we’re lucky to have some of the individuals we have because they’ve got us out of a lot of trouble at times.
“The issues will get looked into when they do their debrief of the season but I’m very confident. There are some great boys here and a great academy.
“You saw two of the young guys against Irish, Steph (Reynolds) and Billy (Burns), and for them to play the way they did at that age bodes well for the future.
“Gloucester will bounce back strongly, especially with the signings they have coming in. If they can bury this year and learn the lessons they will be much better for it.”