Newcastle Falcons winger Mateo Carreras has been criticised by BT Sport pundit Austin Healey after he appeared to eye gouge Wasps’ Josh Bassett.
Carreras escaped on-field punishment for putting his fingers in the eye of Bassett, despite the Wasps winger appealing to the touch judge moments after the incident.
Healey was speaking during the half time break of the Gallagher Premiership match on BT Sport, and expressed his disappointment with the Argentine player’s actions.
Healey criticises Mateo Carreras.
“Watch what he does with his right hand now,” Healey said.
“He sneaks it in and he has a little look. He thinks no one’s looking and he’s hidden from all the cameras – but not all the cameras, mate. There’s one on the other side of the field.
“We can see exactly what you’ve done with your middle finger. You’ve had a little scratch there. Now that is naughty. It’s cheeky. That’s contact with the eye. People call it gouging.
Tom West get’s the ball over the line by a whisker to put @WaspsRugby ahead!
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 19, 2021
“Bassett knows and he doesn’t react. Fair play to Bassett for not reacting. But you’re going to get a long ban for that. It should be down to 14 men.”
Wasps went on to beat Newcastle at Kingston Park by 20 points to 18, after trailing the Falcons by 12 points at half time.
While the incident wasn’t picked up by the on-field officials or the TMO on the night, Carreras will likely be cited and could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The length of a ban for contact with the eye of an opposition player can vary greatly, with 12 weeks being on the lower end of the scale, but players can be banned for more than 24 weeks for such an offence.
Former Stade Francais player David Attoub was banned for 70 weeks after being found guilty of eye-gouging Ulster’s Stephen Ferris back in 2010, while his teammate Julien Dupuy was given a 24-week ban for a similar offence in the same game.