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'Simply disgraceful' - 'Absolutely shocking' Challenge Cup hit condemned

By Sam Smith
Axel Muller is sent off.

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An ugly-looking hit on a Saracens player in their European Challenge Cup match with Brive has been widely condemned online and a heavy suspension is being predicted for the player in question.

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Los Pumas 15 Axel Müller was sent off for a blatant, late and high headshot on Sarries winger Ben Harris that floored the former England Sevens star.

Saracens led 8-0 after 10 minutes through Owen Farrell’s penalty and Andy Christie’s try and though Setariki Tuicuvu responded for Brive, they too were soon out of the game.

Forwards Eroni Mawi and Nick Isiekwe made it 22-5 at half-time and scrum-half Ivan Van Zyl scored inside a minute of the second period.

Ben Earl and Rotimi Segun dotted down either side of the hour, before Brive full-back Muller was red-carded for the brutal hit on Harris in the lead up to Jamie George’s try.

Harris would in fact go on to finish the job with a late try, but the hit he sustained was the talk of social after the one-sided game.

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Legendary commentator Nick Mullins wrote: Brutal goings-on in Brive. Switching between Galway & that game where the French are being heavily beaten by Saracens & treading the line of legality. There’s just been a red for a head-high assault.”

“This is simply disgraceful,” wrote one account. “Hopefully banned for a very very long time. It’s time the game started to really stamp out on the “hit”.

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Simon Thomas wrote: “This is one of the worst I have seen in a long time. Absolutely shocking. Red, red, red.”

Rugby analyst Brett Igoe posted: “This should be a 3 month ban …. Just outrageous”

One account Tweeted: “That is disgusting. Deliberate, dangerous cheap shot on Ben Harris. The reddest of red cards.”

What sanctions Muller will face remain to be seen, but a citing will be automatic as a result of the red card and a long ban is almost certainly set to follow.

additional reporting PA

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