Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Was there an eye gouging incident in Sochi last weekend?


Was there an eye gouging incident involving the Russian prop Grigory Tsnobiladze and Portuguese flanker Julien Bardy as frustrations grew and tempers flared during the ENC clash last weekend in Sochi?

In the second half during the match between Russia and Portugal last weekend, there was much frustration on the Portuguese side as they were stuck in the Russian half but unable to score for a lengthy period of the second half.

The Russians were playing a spoiling game, and scrum half Emmanuel Rebelo got sin binned for lashing out after Vladislav Korshunov was holding him back. There was also a disagreement that saw Alexander Yanyushkin and Cristian Spachuk square off, but also there was an incident at a ruck involving Grigory Tsnobiladze and Julien Bardy.

Tsnobiladze appeared to bend over and thrust his hand into Bardy's face. Hopefully it was no more than a push, but there is always a concern when fingers are being put pushed so near the eye area. It's impossible to say whether or not it was attempted gouging, but even if it was there will likely be nothing done.

The citing system in the ENC is very minimal meaning we will never know anything more about this incident or others like it. Infamously last year, several players could have received bans during a mass brawl between Belgium and Georgia, but only the two players red carded did and even then they only missed 1 game each.

GIF: Was this just a push or an attempted eye gouge?

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