The bite that wasn’t

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LONDON: There was no ev­i­dence that Wales winger George North was bit­ten in the lat­ter stages of their con­tro­ver­sial 20-18 Six Na­tions de­feat by France on Satur­day, the cit­ing com­mis­sioner has said.

Af­ter re­view­ing ev­i­dence in the case of the al­leged bite, in­clud­ing footage from sev­eral an­gles, the com­mis­sioner was “not able to con­clude that any par­tic­u­lar in­di­vid­ual car­ried out an act of foul play“, or­gan­is­ers said in a state­ment on Mon­day.

France scored a try 20 min­utes af­ter the end of nor­mal time to seal vic­tory af­ter a bizarre end chaotic end to the game.

Fu­ri­ous Wales coach Rob How­ley said re­place­ment prop Uini Ato­nio’s sub­sti­tu­tion by starter Rabah Sli­mani in stop­page time brought the in­tegrity of the game into dis­re­pute and there was ev­i­dence North had been bit­ten.

“I am sure you can ask George if you can have a look at his arm. There is ev­i­dence to sug­gest that there is a bite,” How­ley said af­ter the chaotic game in Paris.

France coach Guy Noves re­sponded angrily when a re­porter sug­gested North had been bit­ten in stop­page time. Noves bit his hand and said: “Look, there’s a bite mark, here.”

How­ley said France’s late sub­sti­tu­tion was planned, sug­gest­ing Sli­mani should not have been al­lowed to come on again. He had ear­lier been re­placed but was al­lowed to re­turn when Ato­nio went off for a head in­jury as­sess­ment. Reuters

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