An incident during an Australian NRL game on Monday puts the Joe Marler controversy in the dark
As the northern hemisphere reacted to the sanctions handed down by World Rugby to England’s Joe Marler for his ‘gypsy boy’ slur, another unsavoury incident occurred during the game between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Canberra Raiders in Australia’s NRL.
In a lively game, in which the Raiders overcame the Bulldogs 22-8, it wasn’t the rugby that made the headlines. Instead, it was Bulldogs fly-half Josh Reynolds who made the news after some dubious, below the belt antics on Raiders scrum half, Aidan Sezer.
During a Raiders scrum, as Sezer was putting the ball in, Reynolds is caught on camera reaching out and appearing to ‘tickle’ the back side of of Sezer, presumably to put the half back off.
See for yourself.
Video Credit: #HISTORYHAPPENS
The incident was reminiscent of one involving John Hopoate, who was banned in 2001 for inserting his finger into an opponent’s anus on three separate occasions in one game.
As for Reynolds, he is no stranger to ill discipline, as he was suspended no less than six times in 12 months last year, losing his place in the side for the State of Origin series. He recently referred to this period as a time when the pressure got to him.
It was all on me, my head wasn’t in the right space and I’m happy to admit that.
Following Monday night’s incident, it would appear that he still has some way to go with his on field discipline, and he may yet face sanctions over this latest transgression.
So while Joe Marler begins a two match ban £20,000 poorer, the NRL must now surely sanction Reynolds for, at the very least, inappropriate groping.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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