Evans given six-week ban for striking Pichot in Wales' flop

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The Independent Online

The Wales lock Ian Evans has been banned for six weeks for striking the Argentina captain, Agustin Pichot, during the tourists' 45-27 second-Test defeat in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Osprey, who was suspended for eight weeks last December after kicking Leicester's Harry Ellis in a Heineken Cup match, committed a professional foul after 19 minutes of Saturday's match to earn a yellow card. His late scuffle with Pichot was punished after the match.

"We were not very happy with some of the things that went on," said Pichot, implying that Welsh forwards other than Evans, horribly outgunned, had resorted to more unorthodox ways of getting even. "But I don't carry any grudges." His impressive team might in Cardiff, in the autumn.

The new Wales coach, Gareth Jenkins, will hope to field a stronger pack for that match. "We've learnt a lot," he said, "that we have to compete physically, have possession and play gain-line rugby." Quite.

Scotland also lost their summer series 2-0, after a frustrating 29-15 defeat to South Africa in Port Elizabeth which prompted their coach, Frank Hadden, to vent his spleen at an English referee.

"Tony Spreadbury has a great reputation for letting the game flow," Hadden said, "and often enhances it by choosing not to blow his whistle." Yet the coach criticised a decision to call back a Chris Paterson interception try after playing an aeon of advantage to South Africa from a questionable knock-on and a lack of action over a hard and high tackle on Jason White by Schalk Burger.

"When the guy gets smashed around the head and the referee is prepared to see it, you have got to be worried," Hadden said, before adding: "I don't think anyone would have expected the second best team in the world to need the benefit of every decision and every bounce of the ball to beat Scotland."

In Canada, Scotland's seconds were thumped 52-17 by the Maori - effectively New Zealand's Extra-B XV, given their commitments to a home Test series, the Pacific Five Nations and the Under-21 World Championship - in the final of the Churchill Cup. Ireland A beat the England Saxons 30-27 for the plate and the Canadians took the bowl with a 33-18 win over the US Eagles.

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