Sean O'Brien shouldn't have done it. Let's get that out of the way first. For all we may want to defend him, it was a stupid and reckless thing to do. There have been suggestions of some wayward digits from the French lock but even if that is true, O'Brien will be well aware that his reaction did no one any good.
But having said that, at least he picked a decent target. After that knee to the back of Jamie Heaslip during the Six Nations, the Stade Francais man is sure to rile up Irish fans even more with the statement that he made to the citing commissioners in relation to the incident.
I received a violent punch on the area of the sternum. Due to the instantly pain (sic), I collapse (sic) to the ground and couldn’t breathe anymore. I received care from Dr Grisoli. All along the game I felt a violent pain the area where I had been beaten.
The Irish Times' summary that, 'despite this discomfort the veteran French lock made five carries and an astonishing 17 tackles in the 71 minutes following medical treatment' does a rather decent job of clearing up the absolute waffle that Pape was spouting.
For his part, O'Brien told the disciplinary hearing his side of the story.
I just wanted to break free and try to get whoever it was off me at the time. I was fully focused on the next play and what my job was.
The Ireland flanker went on to admit his embarrassment over the incident and it is believed that his previous good behaviour was taken into account when judicial officer, Terry Willis, handed down a one week ban.