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John Kingston Denies Sinckler Eye-Gouge And Points Finger At Saints For Foul Play Themselves

One of the major talking points of yesterday’s clash between Northampton Saints and Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens was the alleged eye-gouge from Kyle Sinckler on Saints’ Michael Paterson. 

The incident occurred at the beginning of the second half when at the bottom of the ruck, Sinckler removed Paterson’s scrum-cap which resulted in the concession of a penalty on the tighthead prop’s behalf. The alleged contact with Paterson’s eyes was reviewed by the referee and the TMO but the footage proved inconclusive.

However, we will find out on Monday whether Sinckler will be cited retrospectively for the incident. Nevertheless, Quins’ Director of Rugby, John Kingston, was adamant that Sinckler is innocent of the allegation.

“Unequivocally, it was not a gouge. Absolutely not,” Kingston told the media after yesterday’s 30-22 loss.

“Kyle said he made contact with Paterson’s headgear. He can’t do that. There was a purge on it a couple of years ago because it’s the sort of thing that cheeses people off, so leave headgear alone.”

Kingston then rounded on the Northampton Saints and said they are not innocent of any foul play themselves. Kingston alludes that someone made contact with Dave Ward’s eye which left him with some nasty bruising.

“I have to say, and I’m not here to cast dispersions, but my hooker has got a rather nasty eye and I know how it happened because he’s told me and I believe him,” Kingston said.

Kingston said he probably won’t refer Ward’s injury to the citing commissioner but admitted that he is frustrated that questions are raised over his players when his side didn’t get the rub of the green over other incidents which took place on the field.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter