James Haskell signed off his final home match for Wasps by lamenting that rugby had become "pathetic" after he was penalised for a high tackle that could have cost his side victory over Northampton.
Wasps replacement Josh Bassett raced over for a late try only for the score to be disallowed after referee Matthew Carley decided, with help from the television match official, that Haskell had tackled Alex Moon around the neck.
"I don't know what's happened to rugby? It sounds like I'm fading out at the right time, it's becoming a bit of a pathetic sport at the moment." - James Haskell, April 29th, 2018— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 29, 2018
He was penalised for a high tackle.
Do you agree with him? pic.twitter.com/iTimGoWqFQ
Northampton launched a do-or-die assault initiated by the penalty but fell just short as Wasps hung on for a 36-29 victory that confirmed their presence in the Aviva Premiership play-offs with a round to spare.
Haskell, who alongside Danny Cipriani was playing his last match at the Ricoh Arena having been released by the club for next season, seethed at a harsh decision.
"I don't know what's happened to rugby? It sounds like I'm fading out at the right time, it's becoming a bit of a pathetic sport at the moment."— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 29, 2018
James Haskell. No. Holding. Back.
"I don't know what's happened to rugby. It sounds like I'm fading out at the right time because it's becoming bit of a pathetic sport at the moment," the 33-year-old Haskell told BT Sport.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young, whose side will face either Exeter or Saracens in the semi-finals, accepted that Carley's judgement was in keeping with the game's clampdown on dangerous play.
"I suppose by the letter of the law it probably is a penalty. I don't like criticising referees, but it was a big decision that could have led to a draw," Young said.