The first half between England and Australia was full of tense moments. At the heart of most of these flashes of tension were locks Johnny Hill and Darcy Swain.
The two opposing forwards came to blows on multiple occasions including an attempted charge down by Johnny Hill and numerous incidents in rucks.
Some may say that Maro Itoje was also guilty of adding fuel to the fire by loudly screaming whenever England won a penalty or came out on top physically.
Heading towards the final minutes of the half, Hill and Swain came to blows for what would end up being the last time in the match.
With play moving on, the pair found themselves once again in a physical altercation – this time off the back of a maul. Hill was clearly aggressively pulling Swain’s hair in a way which was far more than some playful fun.
A tussle between the locks then followed which resulted in a moment of madness from Swain, and a clear rush of blood to the head.
As they were walking away, visibly angered by Hill’s antics, the Australian No.4 headbutted his now sparring partner in clear view of the officials and TMO.
𝐑𝐄𝐃 𝐂𝐀𝐑𝐃! 🟥 Australia's Darcy Swain! ❌
— Sky Sports Rugby Union (@SkySportsRugby) July 2, 2022
The referee initially missed the incident but it was called back by the TMO. With a lot to unpack the officials decided that both players had a part to play – but Swain’s actions were considered to be worse.
Therefore, Johnny Hill was eventually shown a yellow card and Swain was handed a red.
Australian fans may feel aggrieved that Hill managed to walk away with a smaller punishment than Swain after causing so much niggle throughout the game – however, as soon as Swain led with his head, he gave the referee a decision to make.
It was not the only bit of bad news for Wallabies supporters as they lost their star fly half Quade Cooper before the game to injury and both fullback Tom Banks and prop Allan Alaalatoa having to leave the field early.