Saracens chief Brendan Venter rages over ref

SARACENS director of rugby Brendan Venter has launched an extraordinary attack on referee David Rose and his colleagues after his side's 22-15 Guinness Premiership defeat by Leicester. After watching his previously unbeaten side lose for the second time in successive weekends, Venter raged at Rose's second-half performance – Sarries having been 6-3 up at the interval.

"There was one referee in the first half, he walked through a maze or something, and he came out another referee," said Venter. "I want to look at the opposition, shake his hand and say, 'you out-thought us, you out-played us, you out-muscled us, well done'. That is not what I can do today. This is a professional game and this is a problem. I don't think referees are dishonest, we just do not have the ability to stay objective."

Venter seems certain to find himself in hot water with the authorities following his outburst but he claims the Rugby Football Union are already aware of his concerns. During the week, he received an apology from RFU referees chief Ed Morrison for the performance of Dean Richards in the defeat at London Irish after questioning why referees do not prepare for matches with the same forensic analysis as the coaches and players. "There is a problem out there and that is the game is determined by referees and not by rugby teams," he said. "Everybody wants to know why the game is dying. Maybe that is why."