Wales headcoach Warren Gatland nearly got his Kyle Sinckler ‘timebomb’ moment.
“I think the thing with Kyle, there is no doubt he’s a very good player in terms of his carrying, scrummaging and work-rate,” Gatland remarked on Friday. “There is a challenge sometimes with his temperament. He’s aware of it. Other players are aware of it. We’ve already seen in the Six Nations that he has been involved in a couple of incidents.
“Hopefully, we don’t get dragged into that on Saturday. Emotionally, he can be a bit of a time-bomb. I am not saying anything that people aren’t aware of.”
England attack coach Scott Wisemantel hit back, cautioning against trying to wind him up.
“If they target him then they’re leaving 14 other blokes to do their jobs, so good luck,” Wisemantel said. “We saw in the Australia game during the autumn that he has a quick wit and can refocus very quickly. It’s probably Warren trying to stir the pot a bit.”
The Harlequins prop held his line, while at the same time learning his upper body into his opponent, connecting heavily.
Referee Jaco Peyper saw the incident in real time, and didn’t have an issue with it, even choosing not to refer to the TMO.
Just moments later video appeared to show the tighthead with his arm around the neck of Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones. Tellingly, Eddie Jones decided to sub him off then and there, maybe sensing that the prop was reaching his boiling point.
56' WAL 9 – 10 ENG
PEN WALES | England penalised for a high tackle and Anscombe hits another from in front of the sticks.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 23, 2019
Twitter was more split on the matter than referee Peyper, with both Welsh and English fans criticising the prop for different reasons.
— Chris Palmer (@vanpalmero) February 23, 2019
— Miss Handsome Pants (@_AudaciousAngel) February 23, 2019
Good decision to take Sinckler off. England’s shame. #WALvENG
— John Thurston ??????? (@JohnnyTea00) February 23, 2019
— Claire Wyatt (@Clairescarlets) February 23, 2019
— Zoe Ashdown (@zoe_jb_ashdown) February 23, 2019
Someone needs to remind the English prop, Sinckler, that he's playing rugby not MMA.
Grabbing the throat when facing off, come holding the guy with the ball. Behaving like a thug with every play makes your whole country look shit. #SixNations
— Jumile (@Jumile) February 23, 2019
Fair play Sinckler you was having a stormer till that point. #WALvENG
— Lee Jayne (@LeeMJayne) February 23, 2019
Welsh fans should be unhappy Kyle Sinckler’s been taken off, he was handing them penalties and likely to get a yellow card!
— Aiden McLaughlin (@Womble101) February 23, 2019
How on earth has sinckler gotten away with no yellow card in this game….
— Rhys Jon Jones (@RhysProGreen) February 23, 2019
Sinckler MOM for me #WALENG
— North Stand Warrior #fbpe (@runfatboyrun27) February 23, 2019
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 23, 2019
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