Back in 2012 Gloucester flanker Andy Hazell received a huge ban following a brutal exchange of blows during a Challenge Cup match against Mont De Marsan.
In a moment of madness Hazell threw several punches and a knee to the head of Sebastien Ormaechea as he lay defenceless face down on the turf.
The back rower received a 14-week ban for the incident, but Hazell said he was reacting to several serious pieces of foul play including an eye gouge.
A few minutes before Hazell saw red there was at scuffle at the back of the lineout between the Gloucester man and Ormaechea. The officials were thought to have carded the wrong player, sending Tongan hooker Ephraim Taukafa to the bin and then the Mont De Marsan prop put in a cheap shot on Hazell, sending him over the edge.
The following morning Hazell Tweeted: “Never had a red in 12 years, extremely embarrassed by my actions. It was the third time someone tried to severely injure me and I reacted. In a way I wish I could take back. But when you are in that situation you don’t know how you would react.”
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies, added: “We can’t condone what was done from a Gloucester view, but that was a reaction to what went on before.
“The doctor’s had a look at Andy’s eye. It was severely sore and very red. And we took some pictures of that, because that was damning evidence in its own right.
“He’s disappointed with himself, but I think there were three incidents before that with the same player and he’s caught him off the ball again, and unfortunately Andy snapped.”