Yesterday evening, the expected news came through that Sean O'Brien would be cited for his gut punch on Pascal Pape.
The hearing in London is to commence in under two hours time. The case will be heard by independent judicial officer Australian Terry Willis.
In a desperate attempt from the Irish representatives to stave off a ban, Willis may have his attention drawn to Pape's provocation of O'Brien.
Counsel for the defence, Bernard Jackman wants this 'damning' picture entered into evidence.
What preceded the O'Brien and Pape incident pic.twitter.com/EBVnPWQmKC
— Bernard Jackman (@bernardjackman) October 13, 2015
Initially, we thought this a jokey attempt at pleading 'mitigation' on O'Brien's behalf. But Jackman appears to be serious and is responding to other tweeters, backing up his point.
@Rugbydump not an excuse but difference between binding in a scrum and getting groped in open play. — Bernard Jackman (@bernardjackman) October 13, 2015
Mr. Willis will hardly regard O'Brien's reaction to this provocation as justified.
One Irish woman did respond to the debate saying that 'if a man did that to a woman, it's sexual assault'.
To which, we can only respond by saying that many of the things men do to each other on rugby pitches would be regarded as unacceptable if done to a woman on the street.