Stuart Hogg’s British & Irish Lions tour surely must be over after his cowardly and disgraceful bite on Springbok fullback Willie le Roux, writes Mark Keohane.
Hogg betrayed every Scottish braveheart with his cowardly act.
Hogg’s bite was more an attempt at a buffet meal and once again the TMO Marius Jonker fluffed his lines by not picking up a bite that lasted several seconds and had Le Roux remonstrating and screaming that he had been bit.
Slomo looks bad pic.twitter.com/oPtRZtWaJz
— Province Fan (@ProvinceFan) July 31, 2021
Jonker, a very good referee, has done himself a disservice as the TMO in the first two Tests. He has been petrified to rule anything in favour of the Springboks. He was largely protected in the second Test because Kiwi referee Ben O’Keeffe took control of the decision-making on the TMO referals.
O’Keeffe determined Lions wing Duhan van der Merwe’s kick at Cheslin Kolbe to be a yellow card and two minutes later was consistent in giving Kolbe a yellow card for a reckless air challenge on Conor Murray. I felt both should have been a red card.
Hogg’s bite and Lions lock Maro Itoje’s knee to the neck of Bok centre Damian de Allende had malice and intent and the TMO should have picked this up, given in both instances there was a reaction from the South African players. He should have gone back and checked on the commotion. He didn’t.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) July 31, 2021
Lions supporters have claimed Bok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk should have been yellow carded for a shoulder and no arms attempt at a tackle on Murray. O’Keeffe saw it in real time and asked to see it on replays and felt that it was a mistimed hit and he bounced out of it. Let the citing commissioner also decide this one.
What the TMO and the officials missed was Marko Vunipola’s shoulder to the jaw/head area of Eben Etzebeth in the first minute of the Test. If the law is applied, then Vunipola must see red. The issue of intent or malice does not come into play: the player’s head is the no go zone, and as the videos below show, Etzebeth’s jaw takes a pounding on impact.
My understanding is that Hogg and Itoje have been cited, but Vunipola’s name should be added to the Monday morning roll call.
Would have taken a brave ref to do it but if Mako takes red here in min 1 we never talk about the other incidents in the game because they don’t happen.@Springboks @lionsofficial pic.twitter.com/Kdp1TGtHql
— Province Fan (@ProvinceFan) August 1, 2021