Sun 30 Dec 2018 | 12:38

Harlequins' win tarnished by spitting

Harlequins' win tarnished by spitting
Sun 30 Dec 2018 | 12:38
Harlequins' win tarnished by spitting
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Harlequins hooker Dave Ward could face a lengthy ban after allegedly spitting on a Wasps player during Saturday’s Premiership game at Twickenham.

Harlequins ran out 20-13 victors over Wasps in front of a sell-out crowd at Twickenham, but an ugly incident in the 12th minute involving Dave Ward marred the game.

The 33-year-old received a yellow card by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys for stamping on the ankle of Wasps Thomas Young, but the ‘spitting’ incident went unpunished despite being shown on TV.

BT Sport presenter Martin Bayfield said he believes Ward was “lucky” to just receive a yellow card after repeated incidents of foul play throughout the match.

While, former England international and RugbyPass columnist Andy Goode has branded the Harlequins player an absolute coward on Twitter.

Goode wasn’t happy and tweeted: “Pretty conclusive pictures here of Dave Ward spitting directly at Thomas Young whilst looking at him before his premeditated trample on his ankle. Absolute coward”.

Goode also tagged Ward in the Tweet.

The Tweet was called out by both David Flatman and injured Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw.

Flatman responded saying: “Annoying and stupid, yes, but I don’t subscribe to it being cowardly. Garforth and Rowntree did far worse to me as a youngster, would you call them cowards? I certainly wouldn’t.”

Former England captain Robshaw wrote: “You’re entitled to your opinion, but to @ him the way you have because of your own personal agenda isn’t play on.”

Harlequins Kyle Sinckler also came to the defence of Ward, tweeting: “Some of the abuse Dave Ward is getting is a complete disgrace. I can vouch for him he would never do anything in that manner intentionally. You are ruining such a special occasion for premiership rugby with your abuse.”

Harlequins release a statement on their official website.

According to the stament, the club also reviewed an alleged spitting incident involving Dave Ward and are satisfied that there is no case to answer.

Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard said: “We have reviewed this episode as a club and I have spoken with Dave.

“We do not coach, condone or accept foul play and on behalf of the team and the Club, I apologise to Thomas, Dai and Wasps for this incident. It was an unnecessary and regrettable incident in what was a tightly contested match at Twickenham.”

Ward said: “I apologise unreservedly to Thomas Young, Wasps and everyone at Harlequins for my yellow card yesterday.

“I would also like to make clear that I did not spit on another player during the match yesterday. Regardless of what the television footage looks like I know that I have never spat on a player in all my career and will never do so.”

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Harlequins' Win Tarnished By Spitting | Rugby365