Tuesday Feb 9, 2016 Chris Ashton reflects on his controversial 10-week ban for gouging

Chris Ashton reflects on his controversial 10-week ban for gouging
8
Comments

Last week Chris Ashton was banned for 10 weeks following an incident that involved him pulling Ulster back Luke Marshall down by the face, and in the process making contact with his eyes. Ashton appealed, but had it rejected, meaning he will miss the entire Six Nations.

The ban came about a week after he was recalled to the England squad, 18 months after his last Test appearance. Ashton has since spoken about the incident, when he made an appearance as a studio guest during BT Sport’s live coverage of Exeter Chiefs against Saracens.

The Saracens winger reflected on his 10-week ban for gouging, as Lawrence Dallaglio sympathised with him and discussed other similar recent incidents.

Ashton also said that England coach Eddie Jones has set him certain targets that could mean, despite this setback, he will still get another chance to rejuvinate his Test career.

Dallaglio weighs in on the severity of the ban, and while winger Ashton is frank in his view of the incident, he also states that there is no place for gouging on the rugby pitch. However officials do need to somehow determine whether there is intent or not.

You can watch the full incident again below. Let us know what you think?

8 Comments

  •  tanarkif
    tanarkif

    "...reaching for the shoulder..." that is bulls..t. Not judging the sentence, just saying that Ashton's excuse is c-r-a-p.

    Reply
  •  weejockmcplop
    weejockmcplop

    He can have no complaints here. He clearly adjusts his grip on Luke Marshall moving from below the arm to the head of Luke Marshall and then pulls back. Poor call from the Ref who should have yellow carded him for a neck roll. Could argue that it is not clear if he made contact with the eyes and do not believe that he would have done so deliberately therefore 10 week ban for gouging is harsh. But we absolutely cannot have players targeting the face and head in games. Even in American football with their helmets you are not allowed to target a players face or head!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Difference between the two incidents; as I see it, would be that: You would be going for a legal hand off to the face and an accident happens. Ashton was going for an illegal neck roll (AT BEST) and an accident happened. I don't know the exact ruling on his ban, however I don't believe it was classed as a deliberate gouge, therefore it was thrown in around the reckless or as Dallaglio put it 'careless'... something happened as a result of a bad decision - which as mentioned, was an illegal decision. Of course this is where the laws get muddy, your accident shows an act of attack and defence and I'd assume you as the attacker would be given the benefit of the doubt... however when it comes to high ball and players jumping (whilst in the defending sort of position) if any contact is made then the 'attacker' gets penalised...... So reality is, who the **** knows what the World Rugby clowns use to define foul play...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I do feel sorry for Ashton as I don't believe he wanted to gouge someone, however for me the ban still should stand. Intention or not, the actions DID occur...and people can be the victims of significant damage due to recklessness or "carelessness"... As LD put it.... -_- The game is a dangerous game and if world rugby want to be consistent and black and white the entire topic then I'm all for it... As mentioned above by others, Ashton looked like he was going for a neck roll... That was my view... So it's already illegal... I suppose put yourself in others shoes, would you feel any better ending up in a hospital bed blinded with the guy that did it next to you saying "I'm really sorry, it was a total accident"? It's just easier if players are forced into a position to double think everything and avoid the face...

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    guyerverton: "Ashton didn't really maintain eye contact with either Craig Doyle, Dallaglio or the camera. It may be nerves in front of the camera, but it also indicates a lack of self confidence, and could go some way to explaining his occasional petulance on the field." And why the judicial officer perhaps thought he was lying! Although he makes some reasonable points here, he does look a bit shifty doesn't he!? I will go a stage further with the amateur psychology and neuro-linguistic interpretation. Using the phrase "in my eyes" every time you want to say "in my opinion" is quite an unfortunate choice of words! Also: Defendant: "It's just deeming whether there's an intent and how bad a gouge it is". Prosecuting barrister: "Aha! So you admit you gouged the victim!" Defendant: "No, I was talking about the other incid..." Barrister: "You consider there to be a sliding scale of severity, don't you? You think gouging is OK, don't you? It's just a matter of, as you put it, "how bad a gouge it is". Gouging is OK, as long as it's done quickly - that's what you said isn't it?" Defendant: "I er, no, that's not what I meant to..." Barrister: "No further questions your honour". Adapted from John Grisham's hotly anticipated new thriller, The Swan Diver.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Ashton isn't a natural in front of the camera. He came to Union from Wigan as the token edgy Northern Chav in a team of public schoolboys, and it seems he still occasionally acts the caricatured scally. 10 years ago, the sort of lad you'd expect to see on a Ross Kemp special about gangs of kids nicking cars. I think the citing commissioner took a dim view of his actions. Wasn't he done for pulling Tuilagi's hair in a similar situation? He went for a slightly dirty neck wrench, a high cheap shot designed to irritate the player, except he caught the guys eyes while doing it. That was a dick move, made worse by a wayward digit to the eye. Speed isn't an excuse, his hand should have never been there. Still, it does seem he has grown up a bit, we have to remember that these guys aren't normal... like footballers, a lot turned pro as teenagers, and most of their emotional and mental development stopped the day they put pen to paper. Nobody teaches you to become a Richie McCaw or Sergio Parisse, those lessons come with experience, but only for those willing to learn!!

    Reply
  • For all I dislike Ashton's attitude on the pitch he actually comes across pretty well here. Never thought it was a gouge in the first place and ten weeks is ridiculous - anyone remember when Schalk Burger only got 8 for his blatant one in the Lions tests? It would seem that the rugby board like to think of themselves as a court but the defendant goes in with the presumption of guilt having to be lifted as opposed to being prosecuted.

    Reply
  •  ronan
    ronan

    poor ashton... butter wouldnt melt....

    Reply

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Chris Ashton reflects on his controversial 10-week ban for gouging | RugbyDump