Aotearoa SportVideos Ed O'Donoghue claws at Scott Higginbotham's face.
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Irish lock sent off by Steve Walsh for Super Rugby eye gouge

Ed O’Donoghue cost his Queensland Reds team the game against Melbourne Rebels after tangling with Scott Higginbotham.

FORMER ULSTER AND Leinster lock Ed O’Donoghue is in line for a lengthy Super Rugby suspension after he was sent off in the closing stages of his team’s defeat to the Melbourne Rebels.

O’Donoghue got embroiled in a dust-up with Rebels forward Scott Higginbotham in the 78th minute of his team’s league encounter. The 31-year-old leaned over Higginbotham and clamped his right hand over his nose and eyes.

Referee Steve Walsh referred the incident to the television match official and, upon receiving confirmation that a gouge looked likely, he gave O’Donoghue his marching orders. The lock’s actions also led to a penalty reversal and a game-winning kick from Rebels’ Jason Woodward.

Check out the incident here:

Aotearoa SportsVideos / YouTube

O’Donoghue will be asked before the league’s disciplinary committee during the week and asked to defend or explain his actions. He won 45 caps for Ulster before a 2010 move to Leinster. He played eight times for the Blues before moving to Queensland Reds via London Wasps.

The London-born forward is Irish qualified through his parents and earned three Wolfhounds caps. He appeared for Ireland in non-capped games against the Barbarians and the New Zealand Maoris. He was included in the 2010 Ireland squad that toured Australia and New Zealand but did not get on in any of the Test matches.

Check out Tom Youngs and Salesi Ma’afu’s brilliant Twitter reaction to their on-field scuffle

‘You don’t win trophies just because you’re a nice bunch of guys’ — Johann Muller

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