ENGLAND v WALES - Match Thread / Build up - 7/3/2020

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 4:29 pm

First topic message reminder :

England  rose  v Wales  Wales  - 07/03/2020 - 16:45pm - the HOME of Rugby.

England XV

Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Wilson, Curry

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Stuart, Launchbury, Ewels, Earl, Heinz, Slade


Wales XV

Halfpenny; North, Tompkins, Parkes, Williams; Biggar, T Williams; R Evans, Owens, D Lewis, Ball, AW Jones (capt), Moriarty, Navidi, Tipuric.

Replacements: Elias, Carre, L Brown, Shingler, Faletau, Webb, J Evans, McNicholl.



Overall - Played 134 - Eng 63 - Wales 59 - Drawn 12


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:08 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Pie wrote:Marler will probably toss in the towel (again) he is immature to say the least and rums for momma when the pressure comes on

See, I would use a tissue.

Big lad our Joe......
 Very good!  clap

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:11 am

I would say that as it looks a red but he wears green!

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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:13 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That's a touch one eyed collapse!

Of course you would say that 7.5 but there wasnt a whole lot in those incidents and despite it all happening in front of the ref and the silly twitter campaigns sense prevailed on this occasion and no one took the hysteria seriously.  

It's about consistency; if Lawes is being cited for next to nothing you should then be citing similar incidents.

There's not a lot in the Curry incident, the Lawes one or the Parkes tackle on Tuilagi but if one is being cited then so should the other two. For me Williams tipping Curry was the worst of the lot and he was lucky not to cause serious injury.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:17 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I would say that as it looks a red but he wears green!

You would think a flanker/8 like yourself would appreciate a good solid legal clean out. I do find it amusing that you can see a red card offense in there 7.5 you must have been trying really hard to find one. I would kind of understand that reaction during the drama of the game when emotions are raging and you dont have the benefit of replays but I cant believe people still think there was something worth citing there.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:18 am

MichaelT wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Any clips of what Lawes did?

https://www.ruck.co.uk/courtney-lawes-tackle-on-alun-wyn-jones/

More to do with AWJ getting his legs in an awkward position than anything Lawes did, But I guess had Manu got up and whinged to the Ref about Parkes it might have been looked at by the citing officer once he had left the hospitality tent.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:19 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That's a touch one eyed collapse!

Of course you would say that 7.5 but there wasnt a whole lot in those incidents and despite it all happening in front of the ref and the silly twitter campaigns sense prevailed on this occasion and no one took the hysteria seriously.  

It's about consistency; if Lawes is being cited for next to nothing you should then be citing similar incidents.

There's not a lot in the Curry incident, the Lawes one or the Parkes tackle on Tuilagi but if one is being cited then so should the other two. For me Williams tipping Curry was the worst of the lot and he was lucky not to cause serious injury.

I didnt think Lawes did a whole lot either to be honest. Very hard to compare a tackle with a ruck clear out in order to achieve consistancy but I get what you are saying. It can be frustrating. I'd be very surprised if Lawes got a ban as it looked like an accidental collision to me.

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Post by irfon17 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:46 am

Rather than saying that if Lawes is cited then so should X, Y, Z and Q- wouldn't it be easier just to say that the citing commissioner has made a mistake on this one (assuming we've seen all there is) and hopefully that will be reflected by an acquittal at the hearing?

I mean, it's possible that there is a massive anti-English conspiracy in the officiating, but I don't think that a single harsh citing is strong enough evidence to support that conclusion.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:52 am

England do get treated unfairly by officials, maybe that is down to how our Captain communicates with the Refs maybe its not.
But it does seem our players are fair game with the likes of Parkes, Owens (high tackles), Toner, Ryan (dangerous illegal rucking) and Stander (assault) allowed to inflict pain and suffering on us all going unpunished.

Marler tickles someone and there is talk of 200 week ban!!!! Madness. ~(btw it was wrong, fine him his match fee (£25000) Hit him where it hurts! + 3 game ban)


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Post by SecretFly on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:55 am

You're right, Tight.

Unbalanced reactions all over the place.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:58 am

Surely the main drive of regulations should be to protect players? That is why the clearout on Curry is in my mind serious. It could have been dangerous.

Parkes on Tuilagi led to a cut on Tuilagi. That was dangerous.

Marler's ball handling wasn't dangerous as in he didn't apply force, but it was offensive in another sense. I don't know how you 'handle' a situation like that properly, but it was designed to wind up AWJ only.

Penalising Farrell at the ruck on the England line? Nothing to it at all. Understandable from the Ref's point of view - trying to lay down a marker (failed but he tried). Annoying that 'laying down a marker' = 'giving 3 points to Wales' but never mind.

Farrell push/ Biggar trip
Biggar was in Farrell's way and wasn't stationary, so not sure what else he was to do. The trip wasn't deliberate - so either both are at fault or neither.

Genge's yellow was a team yellow and understandable.

Tuilagi's red. Reckless yes, but felt more unlucky than anything else. The card is understandable even though some of the reaction to it does not. It did seem like the TMO got to a completely different conclusion than anyone else.

OK - Rugby

Wales's 1st try was really good.

Watson looked fantastic considering how long he's been out. 1st England try was wonderful

Daly is suddenly looking so much better all round. His tackling was a real strength when in the past it has been a questionable area.

Slade was good at FB. He was targeted by a lot of high balls but managed fine. Minor mistakes here and there but given the circumstances a very fine performance.

Youngs was reborn

England back row did OK. Wilson looked good. Lawes seemed quiet for much of the first half but was increasingly involved later on. Curry always seems to be brilliant.

England's game plan is brutal. They don't like trucking the ball up, preferring to make the ball and defense make opportunities. When the chances are there they are getting ever more ruthless. We lacked that edge against France, but ever since have looked deadly when in possession in the opponents 22. It doesn't feel as if there is a plan B or alternative scheme though. If the first up tackling is off - like for Wales' 1st try - then we can suffer.

Welsh defense has problems. We seemed to go through North every time (unless we ran straight into him) Not sure if he was being left to cover too wide an area on purpose or if the centers/FB were not helping

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 12:07 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Welsh defense has problems. We seemed to go through North every time (unless we ran straight into him) Not sure if he was being left to cover too wide an area on purpose or if the centers/FB were not helping

Some of the things blamed on North actually looked like 1/2p was at fault for me.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 12:10 pm

Just to add - Lawes tackle on AWJ. What did the damage was Lawes' thigh against AWJ's head. That bit is purely accidental.

Seems an odd citing to be honest.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 12:11 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Welsh defense has problems. We seemed to go through North every time (unless we ran straight into him) Not sure if he was being left to cover too wide an area on purpose or if the centers/FB were not helping

Some of the things blamed on North actually looked like 1/2p was at fault for me.

Too easy to blame someone for getting it wrong when they were left in an impossible situation by their team.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 12:27 pm

lostinwales wrote:Just to add - Lawes tackle on AWJ. What did the damage was Lawes' thigh against AWJ's head. That bit is purely accidental.

Seems an odd citing to be honest.

You can not touch AWJ. FACT.
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Post by lostinwales on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 12:57 pm

Wasn't Watson's dancing feet a joy to see

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 1:00 pm

Brilliant, should have been cited for showing up Liam Williams like that.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 1:38 pm

I thought both Watson and Williams were great to watch. Super players.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 1:48 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:I thought both Watson and Williams were great to watch. Super players.

Liam Williams did not have one of his best games. Not surprising given the time he's had out. He is often a nightmare for us to deal with.

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Post by Pie on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 5:28 pm

TightHEAD wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Just to add - Lawes tackle on AWJ. What did the damage was Lawes' thigh against AWJ's head. That bit is purely accidental.

Seems an odd citing to be honest.

You cannot touch AWJ genitals. FACT.

Fixed for you and if you had any you'd understand why its not so nice thumbsup

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Post by Pie on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 6:03 pm

TightHEAD wrote:England do get treated unfairly by officials, maybe that is down to how our Captain communicates with the Refs maybe its not.
But it does seem our players are fair game with the likes of Parkes, Owens (high tackles), Toner, Ryan (dangerous illegal rucking) and Stander (assault) allowed to inflict pain and suffering on us all going unpunished.

Marler tickles someone and there is talk of 200 week ban!!!! Madness. ~(btw it was wrong, fine him his match fee (£25000) Hit him where it hurts! + 3 game ban)

Farrell is no Captain. He doesnt have the wit to be Captain. You never see him having a discussion with a ref because refs all know he has no real understanding of the role of Captain. He is a hothead of the Mike Brown mould who plays like a silly billy, like Eddie who he perfectly reflects on the pitch.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 6:26 pm

Winners you mean.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 6:47 pm

Farrell might not be the ideal captain but AWJ just talks bollox.

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Post by Guest on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:The tuilagi one probably was a red.

Excellent! Was it the second scan of World Rugby's email that convinced you?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:16 pm

Nope. What makes you think I've changed my mind on that point at all?

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Post by Guest on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:28 pm

Oh I don't think you even know your own mind in the first place and more just make it up as you go along depending on which user is saying what but glad you've at least admitted it was a red. Which I think the majority of fans accept is a good thing and would want it penalised that way if their player/son/team was on the receiving end of a similar non-tackle.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:32 pm

Nah that's where you get people being inconsistent to try and defend something that they've argued for etc. I've always thought it was just about a red. I see the motigation which soul was talking about earlier in the thread but personally I think it was just head contact first the tackle which lowered the height of north wasnt quote enough to dodge the red. Close but I'd personally err to that decision. The discussion with you was merely you say mitigation cant be used to lower the decision no matter what: that's incorrect as I've proved.

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Post by Guest on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:56 pm

In which case you completely misread what I stated and wasted both our time by not seeking clarification for the sake of being able to tell a stranger "you're wrong" on the internet... Hug

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 7:57 pm

It was harsh on Tuilagi but ultimately I agreed it was a red going by what was applied during the world cup. It was also sloppy from Tuilagi. He didn't to go flying in because North had already been stopped by Slade's tackle.

I don't recall Lawes putting in a dangerous tackle, but Itoje seems to put in a lot of high shots. Both were England's best players, followed by Ford, Youngs and Tuilagi.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:08 pm

Thought slade did really well when he came on. Prefer him there to daly already!

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Post by Recwatcher16 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:09 pm

I had to laugh when Wyn Jones complained about trying not to react to a clear provocation. He has spent his latter years perfecting the art of provocation.
What Marler was thinking, in an age of social media idiots, is anyone's guess. Whilst the specific rule is to guard against injury, which Marler appeared to not be looking for, he clearly is going to cop a big ban.

The citing process generally has become a joke. The England players are conditioned to get up on their feet from every tackle but they need to learn to take a breath of two before getting up - like everyone else.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:15 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:

The citing process generally has become a joke. The England players are conditioned to get up on their feet from every tackle but they need to learn to take a breath of two before getting up - like everyone else.

I wouldn't be the one to tell Eddie I'm going to linger longer on the ground after a hit to see if I can milk a penalty or card for ye opposition.

Ain't gonna work. Eddie prioritises resuming positional integrity above playacting (something I've always felt should be so and I respect his philosophy there).


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Post by Recwatcher16 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:22 pm

I think that is right but EJ will recognise the small margins.
Tuilagi had barely hit the ground beyond North and there were already other welsh players berating the SH ref.
If that game had been in Cardiff, England would have lost.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:26 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:I had to laugh when Wyn Jones complained about trying not to react to a clear provocation. He has spent his latter years perfecting the art of provocation.
What Marler was thinking, in an age of social media idiots, is anyone's guess. Whilst the specific rule is to guard against injury, which Marler appeared to not be looking for, he clearly is going to cop a big ban.

Didn't you say this already? Wyn Jones wasn't involved in the matchday 23, silly English. If AWJ is provocative then good, you praise Marler for it. At least AWJ, gentleman and philanthropist, knows where to draw the line. Marler's offence carries a maximum penalty of a 4 year ban, hmmm is there good reason for that I wonder. Amazing how many of you want to defend him. Gwyn Jones summed it up perfectly, and it's hardly ever that I agree with the fake doctor.

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Post by Recwatcher16 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:37 pm

I am not defending Marler, he lost his perspective on his behaviour in that 10 second incident.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 9:11 pm

Eurgh, this thread just like the citing and disciplinary process is a mess. Back to club rugby everyone, settle down and resume in the summer if the tours are on.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 10:00 pm

Aye, you wouldn’t have thought that England actually won pretty comfortably despite all the controversy.

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 10:21 pm

Cyril wrote:Aye, you wouldn’t have thought that England actually won pretty comfortably despite all the controversy.

Tell me about it. England won and I’ve never seen ref whingeing like it from the English! It’s bizarre.
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Post by Cyril on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 10:39 pm

Oracle, I think it’s fair that we want to see consistency. Tuilagi’s red (or yellow) isn’t in doubt by most. Marler’s stupidity is also widely viewed as what it is and he has what’s coming to him. That Lawes has been cited (and not Parkes) is raising questions. Curry’s tipping? On top of that, England fans are fairly amazed that Irish clear-outs from the previous games are ‘ok’.

Is this a bit too reasonable? Wink

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Post by irfon17 on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 1:33 am

Cyril, everyone seems to agree that Marler was an idiot and will have a ban, Tuilagi deserved a card of some sort (and in the last five minutes it doesnt make a difference to the game) and that the Lawes citing is harsh. What I don't understand is that one harsh citing is generating so much anti-England bias accusations.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 1:59 am

It's not the one harsh citing. It's that a lot of marginal things seem to have gone against us. From an England fan point of view you have various actions against us missed eg lots of cheap shots in the Ireland game including a stupidly obvious shoulder charge on an England player in a ruck in the opening minutes, all of which avoid punishment or citing. Then in the Wales game there are at least two cardable offences against England players and both are missed, then no citings for any Welsh players and on top of that a pretty innocuous looking (at the time) tackle by Lawes is then cited. It all just causes a bit of resentment to say the least.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 3:28 am

"The Breakdown" weighs in on Marler. No new insights but it's a display of how polarizing the incident is. John Kirwan thinks it's a fuss about nothing, while Jeff Wilson is outraged. Prop Kane Hames thinks AWJ needs to speak up for Marler (like Kirwan, he's assuming they are mates from the Lions tour). Bernadine Oliver-Kerby pushes back and shares Wilson's disgust. Glen Jackson thinks it's a card but doesn't say which colour. The discussion kicks off just after the 15 minute mark in the video below.



What I haven't often seen, is a broader discussion of what penalty Marler shoudl receive. A lot of commentators are pointing at the law book, with the 12 week minimum entry point, and saying that's what should happen.

If, however, the law said a 4 week minimum entry - as it does for spitting - I wonder if that would be deemed acceptable. In short, I'm curious whether people have a strong opinion on an appropriate punishment, or just want Marler to get whatever seems to be in the law book.

Similarly, if Marler had been yellow-carded at the time, I wonder whether there would have been quite so many calls for a citing to treat its as a red card offence.

Ugo Monye, who has condemned Marler, wonders whether cricket-style sanctions might be better, with fines for unsporting behaviour. We can't turn back time, but I have a feeling that, if Marler had been yellow-carded, and then the Six Nations had fined him after the match, then many would have regarded that as a just punishment.

One reason we are talking about red card sanctions is that there is no effective way of addressing an incident after a match has concluded, except through the citing officer, who has to think something has reached that threshold.

However, we already apply fines if a player, coach or official brings the game into disrepute through words or actions outside a match. There's perhaps a case for reviewing incidents that happen during a match without needing to say it had reached a red card standard.

World Rugby has said they'll leave it to the Six Nations disciplinary committee. I hope they do, because they didn't last time Marler was up. World rugby decided the 6N hadn't been harsh enough over the Samson Lee affair, and imposed their own fine. If they have an opinion, it would be far better to let the 6N know behind the scenes, rather than have that messy ending again.

[At the end of the video, they weigh in on the Manu card. Kirwan and Hames don't think it deserved red. Jackson says it was "unfortunate"]

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Post by Khouli Khan on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 7:21 am

Pie wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Just to add - Lawes tackle on AWJ. What did the damage was Lawes' thigh against AWJ's head. That bit is purely accidental.

Seems an odd citing to be honest.

You cannot touch AWJ genitals. FACT.

Fixed for you and if you had any you'd understand why its not so nice thumbsup

Fed up of the constant whining coming from AWJ, Marler was simply trying to find out if AWJ actually has any balls. Turns out he doesn't, and Marler found out for us all. AWJ not having any balls explains a lot actually. And I did nearly PMSL when after the game, AWJ said something about it being hard for anyone to talk to the Referee these days, even Captains....

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 7:37 am

Who even says “PMSL” apart from little girls?

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:08 am

Cyril wrote:Oracle, I think it’s fair that we want to see consistency. Tuilagi’s red (or yellow) isn’t in doubt by most. Marler’s stupidity is also widely viewed as what it is and he has what’s coming to him. That Lawes has been cited (and not  Parkes) is raising questions. Curry’s tipping? On top of that, England fans are fairly amazed that Irish clear-outs from the previous games are ‘ok’.

Is this a bit too reasonable? Wink

It is reasonable to cite them if you also cite Tuilagi and Curry for their no arms double shoulder smash on Biggar in the first minute. But sure, happy to include those too. Not sure why they were missed either. Seems inconsistent as they were, by the letter of the law, dangerous tackles with no attempt to wrap the arms. thumbsup
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:10 am

Khouli Khan wrote:
Pie wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Just to add - Lawes tackle on AWJ. What did the damage was Lawes' thigh against AWJ's head. That bit is purely accidental.

Seems an odd citing to be honest.

You cannot touch AWJ genitals. FACT.

Fixed for you and if you had any you'd understand why its not so nice thumbsup

Fed up of the constant whining coming from AWJ, Marler was simply trying to find out if AWJ actually has any balls. Turns out he doesn't, and Marler found out for us all. AWJ not having any balls explains a lot actually. And I did nearly PMSL when after the game, AWJ said something about it being hard for anyone to talk to the Referee these days, even Captains....

Constant whining? Has he spoken out again since the 1 post match interview? Genuine question. I haven’t seen anything.
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:15 am

My take on the Marler incident - and just my opinion so not really worth a jot. But for me, if it was a Vinnie Jones style painful squeeze then it should be punished severely. As a ‘funny rub’, albeit ill judged, I think he should be reprimanded but not really punished. It didn’t look like it was intended to cause pain or injure. I don’t agree that we should be applying workplace laws and rules here as they don’t apply in other facets of rugby either (e.g. punching a player; smashing a player in the tackle - both of which would land you in court or jail if done in work. So different values and principles seem to be applied).
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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:48 am

AWJ is at the centre of this, and more than a few people would like him to say something else, to clarify the matter, which he has no obligation to do.

Rory Best had a fair take on the House of Joe podcast. He thinks AWJ primarily wanted to draw attention to how badly the incident had been officiated, not throw Marler under the bus. He tried to get the Assistant Referee's attention but was ignored, and it must have irritated him that the moment got extensive play on social media but was not picked up by the TMO. He also seems to think the referee wasn't listening to him, although whether that's a specific match gripe, or general disatisfaction isn't clear.

As Best points out, a penalty and even a yellow card would have been very helpful, and AWJ is a very competitive player. In the post-match interview, he actually said Marler is a good bloke, which suggests his real complaint was with the process, than any disgust with the Englishman. Best and Haskell are also under the impression that Marler and AWJ are friends since the Lions tour.

Alex Payne put it to him that AWJ could affect how severely Marler is disciplined by putting in a word but Best thinks it has gone too far now. I may be remembering wrongly but he might also have said that the outcome shouldn't have to depend on what AWJ says anyway.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:48 am

The Oracle wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
Pie wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Just to add - Lawes tackle on AWJ. What did the damage was Lawes' thigh against AWJ's head. That bit is purely accidental.

Seems an odd citing to be honest.

You cannot touch AWJ genitals. FACT.



Fixed for you and if you had any you'd understand why its not so nice thumbsup

Fed up of the constant whining coming from AWJ, Marler was simply trying to find out if AWJ actually has any balls. Turns out he doesn't, and Marler found out for us all. AWJ not having any balls explains a lot actually. And I did nearly PMSL when after the game, AWJ said something about it being hard for anyone to talk to the Referee these days, even Captains....

Constant whining?  Has he spoken out again since the 1 post match interview?  Genuine question.  I haven’t seen anything.

I think theres a theory hes Mioaw

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:50 am

Rugby Fan wrote:He thinks AWJ primarily wanted to draw attention to how badly the incident had been officiated, not throw Marler under the bus.

Shades of the Hartley biting incident in all this really.
Remember when the offended player there showed his finger to the ref to try to get it dealt with on the pitch? Maybe AWJ shoudlve done the same.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:55 am

Rugby Fan wrote:AWJ is at the centre of this, and more than a few people would like him to say something else, to clarify the matter, which he has no obligation to do.

Rory Best had a fair take on the House of Joe podcast. He thinks AWJ primarily wanted to draw attention to how badly the incident had been officiated, not throw Marler under the bus. He tried to get the Assistant Referee's attention but was ignored, and it must have irritated him that the moment got extensive play on social media but was not picked up by the TMO. He also seems to think the referee wasn't listening to him, although whether that's a specific match gripe, or general disatisfaction isn't clear.

As Best points out, a penalty and even a yellow card would have been very helpful, and AWJ is a very competitive player. In the post-match interview, he actually said Marler is a good bloke, which suggests his real complaint was with the process, than any disgust with the Englishman. Best and Haskell are also under the impression that Marler and AWJ are friends since the Lions tour.

Alex Payne put it to him that AWJ could affect how severely Marler is disciplined by putting in a word but Best thinks it has gone too far now. I may be remembering wrongly but he might also have said that the outcome shouldn't have to depend on what AWJ says anyway.

When AWJ was being interviewed, he did make light of it a little by asking Nick Webb three times what he meant, until he specifically said genitalia. I would agree that he is more annoyed at the process, particularly the fact the touch judge is seemingly looking right at it and Marler wasn't exactly subtle.

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