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"He sprayed water in my face and choked me with his cap."
"He sprayed water in my face and choked me with his cap."
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

'He sprayed water in my face': England team-mates Haskell and Marler in heated scuffle

Wasps’ 20-game unbeaten home run came to an end after a feisty affair.
Sep 17th 2017, 9:53 PM 16,869 10

WASPS DIRECTOR OF rugby Dai Young wants Premiership officials to take further action after Sunday’s clash with Harlequins saw England team-mates James Haskell and Joe Marler clash in a heated scuffle.

Wasps’ 20-game unbeaten home run came to an end with a 24-21 defeat to Quins, but the main talking point was the incident between Haskell and Marler which resulted in the former being sent to the sin-bin.

Following a tussle between the pair on the ground, Marler apparently squirted water in his England team-mate’s face, before the two players clashed again in front of the referee.

Haskell was sent to the bin, but Marler escaped punishment for his part in the incident with Young admitting afterwards that his player showed more restraint than he would have done in the situation.

“If someone rips your hat off and squirts water in your face, what do you expect?” Young said.

“I thought it was very harsh on Hask. There comes a time when you’ve got to look at the guys who spark these things off. Of course someone is going to take exception to someone ripping their hat off and squirting water in their face.

“We’ve all seen Hask over the years … you don’t see him react to much. You could see he was pretty annoyed. He didn’t throw a punch, he just grabbed the guy. He’s going to react isn’t he? He’s probably got more restraint than I would have had.”

In a tight match, it had looked as though Danny Cipriani would keep Wasps’ impressive home form going from the tee, but late penalties from Marcus Smith ensured Quins denied their hosts.

Smith kicked 14 points at the Ricoh Arena to deny Wasps a third win of the campaign, and inflict a first defeat in Coventry since December 2015.

While Marland Yarde and Charlie Walker scored for Harlequins between tries from Christian Wade and Tom Cruse, Smith kicked four penalties – crucially one more than Cipriani.

Despite defeat – losing the last unbeaten record in the league – the bonus point takes Wasps above Saracens into second. The visitors go fifth.

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