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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Rob Vickers cited following yellow card punch on Joe Marler

Newcastle Falcons hooker Rob Vickers made his 100th appearance for the club against Harlequins on Friday, but marred the occasion by picking up a yellow card for a punch, which has earned him a citing.

The consequence of the ill-tempered game, which was drawn 9-9 thanks to a late Nick Evans penalty, is that three Newcastle players have been cited. James Hall for kicking an opponent, Taiasina Tu'ifua for a dangerous tackle, and Vickers for his strike on Joe Marler.

Harlequins' Conor O'Shea was unhappy with what he viewed as roughhouse tactics.

"We had to scrap. The atmosphere was febrile out there. All credit to the Falcons in what was a very physical game but, on more than one occasion, I think the line was crossed. The line is drawn at punches in the face, boots in the face and short-arm tackles and yes, I think Newcastle overstepped that mark. I just hope Newcastle stick to not going over the edge," he said.

Newcastle coach Gary Gold responded by saying that they were simply fronting up.

"Was it my instructions to go over the top? Certainly not. I never would tell my players to do that. I don't condone any sort of dirty play, but I do ask my players to front up.

"I'm not happy with the ill-discipline we showed at times. You cannot afford to play the game for 20 minutes with 14 men and there is no excuse for players losing their discipline."

You can see the punch below, slowed down for effect, and for those who thought that commentator Ben Kay may have sworn when seeing the replay. What do you think?

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