Haskell goes back on 'eye-gouge' claim
September 10, 2011
England flanker James Haskell was left incensed by an alleged eye gouge during the game against Argentina © Getty Images
England's James Haskell insists that there was "nothing" in the incident in Saturday's Rugby World Cup clash with Argentina which prompted him to angrily claim to the officials that he had been the victim of an eye-gouge.
The versatile back-row was involved in a scuffle in the dying seconds of the game and appeared to suggest to Bryce Lawrence and his assistants that one of the Pumas had made contact with his eyes. However, when asked about the incident afterwards, Haskell denied that he had been deliberately gouged.
"At the last breakdown I got a bit hit up. I got cleared out, I had hands in my face and I think it was just a bit of over-exuberance in the end," said Haskell. "In the heat of the moment you react as you do. It is nothing really.
"It (eye-gouging) has happened to me a few times in my career. Tonight was nothing. I was obviously just stressed, it was a difficult game, we were under pressure. I got cleared out and had a hand on my face. It was nothing."
When asked if he would make a formal complaint, Haskell said: "We have to focus on our own performance without worrying about other stuff."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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