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Wallabies lock Darcy Swain red-carded for apparent headbutt

Sat, 02/07/2022, 10:50 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies hosted England in their first international of 2022.

Wallabies lock Darcy Swain has been sensationally red-card for an apparent headbutt during the first Test against England.

In a tense encounter, both sides traded penalty goals as the hosts looked to gain some ascendancy.

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With England ahead 6-3, they looked to control the game via the rolling maul.

This is where the chaos happened as Swain, who has made a name as a maul disruptor, found himself the target of opposition lock Jonny Hill.

As the two wrestled, Hill grabbed the hair of Swain as he looked to prevent the turnover.

This sent the Brumby into a state of rage, squaring up to the Sale enforcer before leading with his head as play continued.

The Wallabies built some promising phases after the incident, earning a penalty shot before the TMO brought the play back to review the scuffle.

In the end, referee James Doleman was given little option to yellow card Hill for his actions before sending Swain off for his escalation and retaliation.

With World Rugby opting against the 20 minute red card, the Wallabies are left down a man for the rest of the game.

"As soon as he used the words headbutt, that was it," Stan Sport commentator Morgan Turinui said during the broadcast.

"If you're using your head as a weapon... in terms of force it was not high but he is paying a justified harsh price for that."

All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens added: "Very hard to justify a headbutt in any situation isn't it."

It capped off a remarkable half for the Wallabies, who had lost Quade Cooper in the warm-up to a calf injury.

This was followed by fullback Tom Banks, who was carted from the field after appearing to break his arm after a nasty incident.

Prop Allan Alaalatoa was taken from the field minutes later for an HIA, unable to return. This will likely make him unavailable for the second Test under new concussion laws.

The incident galvanised the Wallabies as three second-half tries sealed the 30-28 win

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