Sale Sharks’ victory over Harlequins at the weekend yielded a straight red card for Joe Marler after he struck TJ Ioane with his shoulder when clearing out the Sale man in the second half.
Marler pleaded guilty to the charge and subsequently received a six-week ban for the incident – he will be available to play on the 20 February which rules him out of England’s first two fixtures of the Six Nations.
Despite Marler pleading guilty to the charge and the disciplinary panel adjudicating that Marler did make contact with Ioane’s head, Lawrence Dallaglio and Austin Healey are of the opinion that Marler shouldn’t have received a red card for the hit and Dallaglio reckons that the prop didn’t make contact with the head but rather the back of Ioane’s shoulders.
“He leads with the shoulder to clear out Ioane but actually I think he hits him in the back of the shoulder and not in the head,” Dallaglio said on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight.
Healey, meanwhile, reckons Ioane’s hairstyle was a detriment to Marler’s red card…
“I’ve got a bit of a theory, I’m an expert in hair, and I think if that’s a skinhead being hit in the back as opposed to the big hair it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad….”
"Six weeks?! That's ridiculous!" ?♂️
"He didn't even deserve to be sent off!" ?♂️
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 10, 2018