It’s four years since Chris Robshaw was sifting through the debris of England’s pool stage elimination at their own World Cup.
As skipper, England 2015 simply didn’t go to plan, defeats to Wales and Australia putting them on the canvas and eliminating them from the quarter-final qualification race after just three pool matches.
Four years on, Robshaw failed to make the cut for Japan 2019, leaving it the responsibility of others such as Owen Farrell to go and make amends for what happened in the previous finals.
This meant that while England had their feet up last Saturday after their pool game with France was cancelled due to a typhoon striking Japan, Robshaw was hard at it on the club circuit with Harlequins.
However, he fell victim to an unfortunate challenge that has now resulted in a rival Saracens player being suspended for five weeks.
(Continue reading below…)
Prop Joshua Ibuanokpe appeared before an independent disciplinary panel in London on charged with striking with head, contrary to Law 9.12, in the second half of a match the Allianz Park club won 28-21. Ibuanokpe was given a five-week suspension by the panel, ending November 18.
Panel chair Matthew Weaver said: “The panel accepted the player’s explanation that his sole focus was on trying to disrupt the ruck.
“The player submitted that he had not deliberately made contact with the head of Chris Robshaw but any contact made had been as a result of getting ‘over-excited’ having successfully counter-rucked moments before. The panel agreed with this assessment of the incident.
'I couldn’t understand why all my friends were able to understand things and I wasn’t grasping it. As a young boy that was pretty tough'
? – Chris Robshaw's backstory is powerful ? https://t.co/PLILpcX9u5
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 14, 2019
“Contact was made with the head of the player to Chris Robshaw’s head/neck and as such the mandatory mid-range entry point applied. Having agreed that his actions were reckless and caused no injury, it was not necessary to consider a top-end starting point.
“The player accepted the charge, has a clear disciplinary record, was remorseful for the impact of his action and apologised. The club spoke of the positive impression he had made on the club since joining this season.”
The panel found no reason to not award the maximum mitigation of 50 per cent, reducing the period of suspension to five weeks.
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