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Monday, April 04, 2011

Joe Marler and Marcos Ayerza both banned for two weeks

Front rowers Joe Marler and Marcos Ayerza have both been banned for two weeks following an altercation that took place during the Harlequins and Leicester Tigers Aviva Premiership game on Saturday.

Both players were red carded by referee Wayne Barnes, who saw the incident unfold right in front of him, with Ayerza head butting Marler, who then retaliated with a few seemingly well placed punches.

The pair were sent from the field, and earlier today faced an RFU disciplinary hearing. The result of that is that they were both handed two week suspensions, making them free to play again on April 19.

It was a fiery clash with a few yellow cards and a serious lack of numbers on the park at one stage. Referee Barnes had sent Will Skinner and Mark Lambert from the field too, albeit temporarily, but that meant Quins were down to 12 at one stage.

Harlequins Director of rugby Conor O'Shea was furious with the officiating afterwards.

"There are a number of talking points. Does Joe feel hard-done by? I know I would be. Should he have reacted that way, probably not. Was the provocation high? Absolutely. But I do want to know why when Tom Williams was tackled off the ball going for the line, there was no penalty try, no yellow card when both should have been 100%," he said.

Leicester's Richard Cockerill saw things slightly differently, saying "That's rugby. So much happened out there and it was a fractious game at times. Marler was involved in everything. He has a Mohican hairdo dyed orange so he's difficult to miss.

"It's up to Quins to deal with him. We look to our own players."

Time: 03:08



  • first

    By Blogger Maurine, at April 04, 2011 7:29 pm  

  • Not sure i agree with Conor O'Shea regarding Marler being hard done by. You punch anyone on the pitch (in retaliation or not) you don't deserve to be on the pitch.

    Would be interesting to see the clip regarding the early tackle again.

    By Blogger NateBear, at April 04, 2011 7:29 pm  

  • first

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 7:29 pm  

  • first

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 7:30 pm  

  • That haircut alone deserved a red card.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 7:32 pm  

  • Marler had to lose one hell of a bet to walk onto a pitch looking like that. Almost puts Dennis Rodman to shame.

    By Anonymous BIGWHIT, at April 04, 2011 7:32 pm  

  • Strange that you call it a "mohican" hairstyle over there...

    By Anonymous fry, at April 04, 2011 7:34 pm  

  • More citings crap, totally expected.

    It was a very fiery game - it was a good game too! - and no surprise about the citings. But giving Marler the same length of ban as Ayerza is patently unfair. We all know that players should not retaliate, but when they do in response to a nasty cheap shot, you better have a very very good reason to hand out an equivalent ban.

    A good comparison would be the Cudmore-O'Connell fight from last season's Heineken Cup. Cudmore started it, O'Connell retaliated; the former was punished, the latter not. O'Connell was probably lucky to get no punishment at all, but they got it right by heaping the heavier punishment on the guy who started the whole thing off.

    By Anonymous edbok, at April 04, 2011 7:39 pm  

  • surely a yellow for both players would have sufficed in that situation?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 7:42 pm  

  • Horrendous officiating for the entire game. Leicester, particularly in the second half, were lazy in their rolling away, and there was so many times he could have blown for obstruction or being offside and he didn't. And how does one scrum wheeled six times lead to two yellow cards AND a penalty try? It should've been a penalty try on the third offense. Wayne Barnes won't be bragging about this game any time soon.

    By Blogger SmellyNerfherder, at April 04, 2011 7:52 pm  

  • Couple of Yellows and everybody's happy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 7:52 pm  

  • both deserve red, the citing for the head butt, but punches should just get a fine

    By Anonymous HwA, at April 04, 2011 7:56 pm  

  • seems to me that a disproportionate number of head-butts are delivered by the ones wearing scrum caps - forward or back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 8:00 pm  

  • NateBear, if you have ever personally played rugby I would guess it was in the backline. Punching people happens sometimes. This guy with the horrible haircut got head-butted and looked over at the ref who had not blown the whistle. What was he to do?(outside get a new haircut) Should have been a penalty against the Leicester prop and maybe a yellow.

    By Anonymous Moneykillsrugby, at April 04, 2011 8:10 pm  

  • I would say yellow would be enough for both!

    By Anonymous Killer, at April 04, 2011 8:11 pm  

  • Punching a tigers player deserves a medal not a card !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 8:11 pm  

  • Marler (the orange haired one) started all that...just keep your eyes on him this whole video...he is lingering round the other side of the ruck being an ass...

    If anything he deserved more punishment....its another Nathan Hines on Byrne, Grewcock on (ferris?!?) retaliating due to being held back...or at least that didnt help..

    I'd have said yellow to both, end of story...personally..

    By Blogger No.7, at April 04, 2011 8:17 pm  

  • Feel sorry for Marler really. I didn't see the game so don't know what happened previous to this incident, but dealing with it as an isolated incident, retaliation gets a yellow. Ayerza on the other hand deserves everything he got.

    By Anonymous Marvel, at April 04, 2011 8:17 pm  

  • Marler shouldn't have been accepted on the pitch wearing this air style in the first place...

    By Blogger Anton, at April 04, 2011 8:18 pm  

  • love to see the big boys having a crack.
    Better than their scrummaging.

    By Anonymous DEO, at April 04, 2011 8:45 pm  

  • Didn't see the whole match so I cannot comment on the reffereing, but Wayne Barnes is one of the best referees in the business and I think this time he got it right. You aren't supposed to punch nor headbutt in rugby, so both sent off. I've got to say I love the way both of them get their heads down and walk off the pitch. No bitching, learn somehing, footballers out there! (ehem, Ballack, ehem)

    On the citings and bans stuff, Ayerza 2 weeks and Marler 1 week would have been more suitable, in my opinion.

    Anyway, lad, get a haircut, specially those hairs on the back of his head!

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at April 04, 2011 9:08 pm  

  • Shocking refereeing. 5 minutes spent on one scrum resulting in two yellows and a penalty try then the very next scrum is a quins penalty when they only have a six man pack?
    Good to see Marler playing well, two weeks is a bit extreme, the ref clearly wasn't going to stop what was going on so it was inevitable that he retaliated. First player i've seen sent off to a standing ovation and cheering!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 9:08 pm  

  • Someone from quins should have a word with that lad about his hair. It's not bloody football and idiots like that make our sport look bad.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 9:20 pm  

  • Barnes might not have had a great game overall. However, I don't think he could have handled the two red cards any better. Calling them over with captains and sending them off individually so that they would not end up walking of together. Great call! No complaints either. Laws state they should have walked

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 9:25 pm  

  • Someone from quins should have a word with that lad about his hair. It's not bloody football and idiots like that make our sport look bad.


    If everyone had a haircut like Joe Marler you'd be saying the rare minority with short back and sides look like idiots. Afterall there's no objectivity with what haircut is good and what's bad. It's on par with argueing that people who wear the colour green look like idiots.

    In actuality it's conformist pseudo-intellectuals like you that make not only Rugby fans look bad, but society as a whole.

    Most comments here are nothing but playful banter and personal opinion, but your comment is out and out ignorant mate.

    Yes he looks like an arse, but that's his choice. Society would be a pretty boring place if everyone was like you, or me, or anyone else for that matter.

    As for the fight, Marler should have only seen Yellow. Certainly not any kind of ban for what was ultimately self defence. You let a guy headbut you once, fair enough, but twice you defend yourself. I think the fact he turned to the ref says alot about him and this incident. Put Mahatma Ghandi in that situation and he'd retaliate, it's basic science, the brain is hardwired that way.

    By Anonymous CosmicGypsy, at April 04, 2011 9:36 pm  

  • marler was pulling and provoking ayerza all game, im surprised ayerza didnt clock him one alot earlier on. he isnt usually a dirty player but marler brought it out in him by being a cock. i think a red and 2 weeks is fair to both of the,.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 10:26 pm  

  • CosmycGypsy,

    I see your point about the haircut, but thinking straight, Marler should have done something even more intelligent:

    Let Ayerza headbutt him twice, then raise his arms and walk away. That way Ayerza would have been the only guilty party in all the mess and probably he would have been given a red and a lenghty ban, and Marler would've stayed on the pitch. Easier said than done, though, kinda difficult to stay cool in that situation.

    Just an opinion.

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at April 04, 2011 10:28 pm  

  • Not sure I would have sent Marler off. I think Yellow would have made more sense. 2 headbutts are not worth the same as 2 punches, and Marler was getting the brunt of the aggression.
    Plenty of people throw punches in matches and don't get sent off (see O'gara in the last 6nations match), and I think it was bad luck that Marler chose to throw his at that moment.

    By Blogger Hoizokimaru, at April 04, 2011 10:52 pm  

  • you must love wayne barnes for his fearless authority...the guy litterally lectures two monsters! love it. looks like a french top 14 referee

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 04, 2011 11:04 pm  

  • Some tidy punches going in there! Good work.

    By Anonymous Von, at April 04, 2011 11:26 pm  

  • Any chance of footage of the other yellow cards?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 12:03 am  

  • Should point out the reasons for the length of the bans. Marler has had a poor record of late where as Azerya hasn't.

    You can't use self defence as an excuse to punch someone..... pretty simple!

    By Blogger NateBear, at April 05, 2011 12:12 am  

  • I have to say that as good as Wayne Barnes is, I think he made the scrum a shambles. How could he possibly send off two players and give a penalty try from what was essentially one scrum constantly reset? If Quins infringed to the point of him having to give a yellow card because the infringement was preventing a try, then give the damn penalty try. After the first yellow card, if there are yet more infringements THEN give the bloody penalty try, don't wait and keep resetting until you can send off ANOTHER player, and then STILL give the penalty try afterwards... I'm sure Quins would have much preferred to simply concede the try from the first or second scrum. Slightly suspicious refereeing there; almost as though Barnes wanted to send players off

    By Blogger RedYeti, at April 05, 2011 12:28 am  

  • should get sent off for that haircut

    By Anonymous Chris Boy, at April 05, 2011 12:40 am  

  • LOL, type in 'Joe Marler Sausage' on google images...

    (actually i better explain this one before i get mobbed for being an anti-man)

    I typed in Joe Marler, then on a picture of him there was that word, so i typed in the whole phrase and some hilarious pics came up!

    By Blogger No.7, at April 05, 2011 2:18 am  

  • agree with the ref her. brnes seems to be the man in the premiership, he just needs to be as confident and assertive in the internationals he refs then he wil be the best in the world along with alain rolland. gresg decisions here btw

    By Anonymous bergemasco, at April 05, 2011 5:07 am  

  • edbok yo cant say o'connelll was'nt punished,,, he got yellow when cudmore got red... paulie looked to the refs before retaliating only because he had to defend himaelf... tell me you would'nt do the same... rehab ebok.... not even an ewok

    By Anonymous bergemasco, at April 05, 2011 5:14 am  

  • At no point in any of those rucks did the players obey the rules and release the tackled player and roll away.
    Is this common in the Aviva Pemiership?

    By Anonymous Jono, at April 05, 2011 8:23 am  

  • Loving the cheer that goes up just after 2:40 - presumably the crowd are watching the same slow-mo replay on a big screen in the stadium?

    Can't be many sports where an off-the-ball upper-cut is met with a polite ripple of applause from the fans!

    By Anonymous Von, at April 05, 2011 9:09 am  

  • "You can't use self defence as an excuse to punch someone..... pretty simple!"

    I'm sure a Judge would disagree with you there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 9:31 am  

  • CosmicGypsy, I would've loved to see your man Ghandi in that situation!

    By Anonymous Cmon84, at April 05, 2011 9:36 am  

  • Ayerza should have got more than 2 weeks for headbutting. He's lucky the suspension isnt in months.

    Marler should have got the red through principle of walking on to a rugby pitch sporting that cut. It's a pity that the only thing that gets you recognised is your hair, not your ability to play rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 10:19 am  

  • Yes, but no way is that haircut as bad as, for example, Rene Ranger's.

    Marler's is clearly a piss-take, an ironic send-up of himself, whereas I reckon Ranger probably actually thinks his looks good.

    Here's a nice column by Will Greenwood on Marler from last autumn:

    By Anonymous Von, at April 05, 2011 10:43 am  

  • Marler was hard done by. He was butted, hesitated and looked at the ref to see what he would do which was nothing, then threw punches and only then did Wayne barnes blow the whistle.

    Barnes then said he saw the whole thing so why not blow his whistle whe he saw the headbutt?

    Marler did the right thing by hesitating but if the ref does nothing he has to retaliate somehow.
    Barnes has a few friends in the media who write good things about him thereby making people think he's good.

    The scrum yellow cards and then a penalty try was a fiasco and any other ref would have been vilified in the media.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 11:08 am  

  • i agree that throwing punches in retaliation is not as bad as the initial head butt, however the worst offence there in the eyes of other front row players is pulling the scrum cap, that may be why marler got the same ban

    By Anonymous mat, at April 05, 2011 11:09 am  

  • As far as I remember from watching this match Marler had been in the thick of it for the majority, where ever there was a punch up he was there. He'd reacted badly when they'd got pummelled on their own tryline and he was told by the ref not to get involved after Ayerza nutted him and he ignored it and threw a few punches anyway. Ayerza isn't innocent in this but Marler should have got a card for that alone, with the previous stuff through the match it was going to be red.

    Having seen quins play a few times this season Marler is often involved in this sort of thing and I think teams are realising he's easy to provoke. If he wants that England shirt he's going to have to wind his neck in occasionally or he's going to be a liability.

    O'Shea should stop whinging. Leicester could have been pinged for a few but so could Quins. It wasn't a badly reffed match. If his team could convert opportunities theyhadthey should have won the match, it wasn't the refs fault

    By Anonymous Nick, at April 05, 2011 11:12 am  

  • @ Bergemasco - you are right, O'Connell got a yellow.

    But the officials got the decisions right there, handing out the more severe punishment to Cudmore.

    All other things being equal, the guy who throws the first punch should cop the harsher penalty. That's why Joe Marler has been hard done by here. (All the niggly stuff that might have gone on before is totally irrelevant. He didn't deserve red for this incident, he certainly didn't deserve the same ban as Ayerza.)

    By Anonymous edbok, at April 05, 2011 11:26 am  

  • Marler should have kept his cool like O'Kelly did against white.

    The haircut alone is a red nonetheless

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 11:34 am  

  • in some ways he reminds me of dylan hartley a few years back where ever there is a bit of niggle hes involved maybe he will become the 2nd most hated player in the premiership

    any body inlighten me on what headworks means googled it came back with waste water company

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 12:43 pm  

  • Jeez am I missing something here ? No head butts in the traditional sense (i.e pulling head back and really planting one), a couple of fair retaliation punches in a hard fought, contact game from two forwards. Not a surprise that Barnes saw the offence as black and white when one considers he trained as a Barrister. Yellows were at tops would have sufficed but two week bans...!!

    By Blogger Gary, at April 05, 2011 12:59 pm  

  • On this particular incident I think the decision was just, and I do think Barnes is an excellent ref, but my overall impression of the game was that he had a stinker. The first yellow card to Quins seemed extremely harsh, as the ball looked to have popped out of the scrum, and as others have mentioned his general handling of that scrum was bizarre.

    Also, O'Shea makes a very good point about Williams' chase when he was tackled off the ball by Ben Youngs. I couldn't believe none of the commentators mentioned it at the time.

    By Anonymous Cian, at April 05, 2011 1:39 pm  

  • Typical french behavior....

    Arff...no they are not french or playing in top 14??
    Huuu, some people must be disapointed here!

    By Anonymous BillM, at April 05, 2011 2:14 pm  

  • I'd feel bloody hard done by if I were Marler. What was he supposed to do, sit there and let Ayerza unload on him? I know the rules say it has to be a red for a punch, but Ayerza should have got a longer ban at least.

    I'm not even going to start on the hair...

    By Anonymous Ian M, at April 05, 2011 3:43 pm  

  • Wayne Barnes is such an attention seeker

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 5:32 pm  

  • It's funny people's comments on marlers hair....

    What should he have?

    I mean we have Percy Montgomery with his football hair do. Big vic matfield with scraggy longish hair, cabal with long hair, stringer who is bald, ummm jerry Collins with his Guinness hairdo, umaga and nonu with dreds..... So what is the correct hairdo?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 6:02 pm  

  • cumpolsary scrum caps

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2011 9:36 pm  

  • Think the point that a lot of you are missing on here is that the punishments Barnes dealt out to those 2 for scrapping was probably in context of the game (concept called contextuality in stage 2 reffing course. The punches/headbutt themselves may not have warranted reds, but if the game was about to boil over (and from the commentary it sounds like it was) then this may have been Wayne Barnes's attempt at stamping control on the match

    By Anonymous Rooster, at April 05, 2011 10:22 pm  

  • everyone is saying ayerza started it but you can clearly see marler pulling him by his scrum cap trying to provoke him. and it was hardly a headbutt. He barely touched him and with a scrum cap it wouldn't have hurt whatsoever. not saying what ayerza did is right but people are blowing it out of proportion.

    personally think two yellows would have sufficed, but you piss around like that then you can't complain when you get sent off...

    By Anonymous Russell, at April 06, 2011 1:00 pm  

  • Marler started it.
    Marler started it.
    Marler started it.

    Hands in the face area prior to the head butt. Head butt was retaliation for whatever Marler was doing or had done with his hand/fingers. Marler trying to appeal to ref for the retaliation. Luckily for Ayerza his second headbutt irked Marler enough for him to also retaliate. Instead of Tigers being down one, he managed to get offsetting reds.

    By Anonymous Stubby, at April 06, 2011 2:39 pm  

  • RD can we have highlights of Leinsters win over Leicester in 2009 please? For the week that's in it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 06, 2011 8:16 pm  

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