Rugby fans were up in arms following a possible eye-gauging incident during Wasps’ match with Newcastle Falcons.

The flashpoint arrived when Josh Bassett pinned his ears back and went for the line in the first half at Kingston Park on Friday night.

The Wasps winger was held up but replays shown by BT Sport appeared to reveal Mateo Carreras make contact with Bassett’s eyes.

Bassett let the officials know his thoughts about the incident, which was checked, but play continued as Wasps kicked a penalty through Jimmy Gopperth to cut the deficit at that stage to seven points.

BT Sports commentary said the incident was ‘marked as a potential citing incident’.

Shortly afterwards, Newcastle Falcons registered their second try through George Wacokecoke, adding to Marco Fuser’s earlier score, to take an 18-6 lead into the break.

Austin Healey

BT Sport pundit Austin Healey shared his thoughts at half-time: “It’s pretty clear and I don’t see how Wasps benefit from this. Play stops and if you watch what he does with his right hand now, he sneaks it in, has a little look, thinks no-ones looking, there’s no cameras, but there’s one on the other side of the field that has seen exactly what you’ve done with your middle finger. You’ve had a little scratch there. That is naughty, that is cheeky, that is contact with the eye, people call it gauging.

“You’re going to get a long ban for that.” He added: “He’s deliberately touched him on the eye, he might not have made contact with the eye, but there’s clear intent there.”

Wasps scored two converted tries after the break through Brad Shields and Tom West to win 20-18 and claim only their second win in eight Premiership games.

Afterwards, Newcastle boss Dean Richards was shown the Carreras/Bassett monent pitchside by BT Sport. He later said: “I haven’t seen it, I’ll have a look at it later. I know a few people are making a big deal about it but I haven’t seen it so I’ll have a look later.”

Wasps boss Lee Blackett told BT Sport: Josh was upset at the time and was upset when he came in at half-time, it doesn’t look good does it?”





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