A comment from Joe Marler sparked a scuffle between Harlequins and Bristol Bears, as Jake Heenan and Yann Thomas in particular took offence.
Marler is known for getting under opponents’ skin, as seen in a couple of infamous incidents with James Haskell and Alun Wyn Jones, and he found himself at the centre of attention again on Tuesday night.
Just before packing down for a scrum, Marler appeared to make a comment to the Bristol pack, as Thomas stood up and was stopped from getting any closer to the Harlequins stalwart.
Bristol flanker Heenan wasn’t stopped however, as he managed to grab Marler before both forward packs became involved in some pushing and shoving which was quickly quelled.
Steven Luatua speaks out.
While nobody has publicly revealed what Marler said, Bristol Bears captain Steven Luatua expressed his frustration with the comment on Twitter after the game.
When responding to a tweet from Andy Goode about the incident, Luatua wrote, “I only found out on the way home. You an I would’ve done the same. That was absolute bullshit from Marler.”
Luatua was seen to calm things down on the pitch during the scuffle, although it is interesting to know that is only because he didn’t hear the comment which kicked things off.
I only found out on the way home. You & I would’ve done the same. That was absolute bullsh%t from Marler
— Steven Luatua (@StevenLuatua) December 27, 2022
Joe Marler could be cited.
Marler did not face any punishment during the game, presumably because referee Karl Dickson also didn’t hear the Harlequins prop’s comment, although he could be disciplined by a citing committee.
The experienced England prop responded to a tweet from Luatua asking for an apology to be given to Heenan, writing, “Yep. You’re right. I’m sorry Jake Heenan – piss poor from me. Owe you a pint/coffee in the new year.”
Bristol ultimately pulled off an upset victory as they beat Harlequins 15-12 at the Twickenham Stoop to end a poor run of results in the Gallagher Premiership.