Biting accusation set to be investigated
March 18, 2012
Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris is the alleged victim of the attack © Getty Images
England face an anxious wait to see if a biting allegation will sour their impressive Six Nations campaign that culminated with a dominant 30-9 victory over Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.
Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris accused an England player of biting his finger during the game the incident was pointed out to referee Nigel Owens in the 28th minute of the game. Owens did not see the incident but confirmed to the two captains, Chris Robshaw and Rory Best, that it would be looked into after the match. However, ESPNscrum understands that BBC Sport, the host broadcasters, could not find anything conclusive when they reviewed the footage of the alleged incident.
England will know by Monday evening whether a citing has been brought by the independent match commissioner. Addressing Robshaw and Best, Owens said: "I have an accusation of biting, a clear mark on the finger. I did not see something. If I do it will be dealt with severely, which would be a red card.
"It could be dealt with afterwards. If it is seen it will be dealt with. I did not see it. Have a word. Nothing like that takes place in this game. I can only deal with what I see. Have a word please. I have had a look. Unless I can see it, it's been dealt with, okay?"
As the two forward packs then set themselves for a scrum, Owens added: "This game is difficult enough without stuff like that, is that clear?"
Owens then approached Ferris while he was receiving treatment from the physio and said: "I have done all I can. It has been noted. If I don't see it I can't do nothing about it. It has been spoken about and dealt with."
Robshaw insisted after the game that he had not seen anything untoward on the pitch. Asked how he would react if one of England's players had bitten an opponent, Robshaw said: "It is one of those things we will have to address when we meet up, but at the moment it is innocent until proven guilty, so to speak. We will see what happens."
Under International Rugby Board regulations, the lowest entry level suspension for biting is 12 weeks with the maximum being four years.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape