Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

O'Leary facing ban for 'stamp'

London Irish scrum-half Tomas O'Leary could be suspended by the RFU after appearing to stamp on an opponent

Ireland international Tomas O'Leary is facing a lengthy ban after appearing to stamp on the head of England flanker James Haskell.

But London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith claimed there was some "tap-dancing" - players putting their feet where they should not - during other parts of the game.

If RFU disciplinary bosses come down hard on the 24-times capped London Irish scrum-half O'Leary, he faces at least nine weeks of suspension which would keep him out until the end of April.

Smith said he did not see a stamp, even though footage of the incident was replayed on the Adams Park big screen three times.

But hapless Wasps, who crawled back from 17-3 down to level at 20-20, were sent packing when ex-England centre Shane Geraghty clinched a dramatic 23-20 Aviva Premiership win for the Irish in the dying minutes.

Smith said: "I have not seen the red card close up but what I would say is there was a fair bit of tap-dancing from half-backs in the ruck area during the game.

"We want to have a look at a couple of occasions where (Wasps scrum-half) Joe (Simpson) was using his feet as well."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young labelled the accusation as a "silly comment" and played down the alleged stamp as unintentional.

"Obviously, it looked like a red card but we all know the player and it was reckless rather than vicious," he said.

"It is one of them that you go to clear the ball and things happen quickly. There is no rugby player who goes out there to catch somebody on the head."

Smith praised his side for a heroic win, which saw fly-half Ian Humphreys and hooker David Paice score Irish tries while wing James Short crossed for Wasps.

Home fly-half Joe Carlisle booted 15 points against 10 from Irish full-back James O'Connor before a dramatic late drop-goal from Irish centre Geraghty wrapped up the win.

Smith said: "There is plenty of belief in the squad. Today's win probably tops last weekend when we beat Saracens away."

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