Simpson fury at Robson 'head-butt'
September 5, 2009
Quins' George Robson leaves the pitch at Twickenham after his red card © Getty Images
With Harlequins still reeling after the fallout from 'Bloodgate', the club suffered a major setback in its attempt to clean up its image, with lock George Robson being accused of a head-butt during Saturday's 26-15 Guinness Premiership defeat by Wasps at Twickenham.
Robson was shown a straight red for appearing to throw his forehead in the direction of Joe Simpson just 46 seconds into the game and the Wasps scrum-half was in no doubt that the action had been deliberate.
"He came and said sorry after the match, which I accepted, but I am still pretty frustrated and disappointed with what happened. It is not really the spirit of rugby, I don't think," Simpson said.
"I am pretty sure that he head-butted me - I think the video will show everyone what they want to see. He tackled me after the ball. I was desperately trying to pull myself away and get to the next breakdown. He hung onto me. I thought I was ready to run off and then things happened.
"I was surprised by it. I wasn't expecting it at all. I have got a bit of a headache and I am still a bit wobbly."
Quins head coach John Kingston was reluctant be drawn on the incident.
"I will do an Arsene Wenger and not make a comment from just watching it live. George is upset. I spoke very briefly to him. He said sorry to me and he wasn't quite sure how it had all evolved," he said.
"His sorrow reflected the circumstances. I don't think it should be taken as a question of whether he had done something wrong. We will look and see what the pictures show and reflect on it."
Kingston was more eager to praise his players for the way in which they coped with the loss of a man so early in the game.
"I thought the players performed admirably. They showed a tremendous resolve which in the circumstances, when you lose a man in the first minute, it would have been very easy to fold," he said.
"Knowing what I know about them, we knew it was never going to happen. We showed huge resolve but from the first minute we never had the opportunity to show what we are about."
Meanwhile, Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks also insisted that he had not had a clear view of Robson's clash with Simpson.
"I can honestly say I didn't see it but Joe Simpson's nose looks like there was a headbutt," he said.
Wasps eventually made their numerical advantage count but only after trailing by seven points at two different points during the first half.
"I don't like playing against 14 men. Sometimes they dig a bit deeper, sometimes you get caught out thinking there is space," he said. "So I am very pleased with the result. I would take a one-point win against 12 men first game of the season.
"It was a mixed bag for us. We know we have plenty to work on but we saw some good stuff out there that we can develop."