For some time Maro Itoje has been a somewhat controversial figure on the pitch. It goes without saying that he is a superb athlete and gifted rugby player, but in the eyes of the purists of the game he can let himself down sometimes with his histrionics and gestures to opponents, especially his cheering, hollering and jumping up and down like a mad man every time his team win so much as a scrum or a ruck!
Over the past few months he seemed to have reigned himself in however, no doubt due to the excellent management of Alex Sanderson amongst others, but on Sunday against Glasgow the Saracens man reverted back to type by openly mocking the Scottish side when they thought they had scored a try! In full view of the cameras he mockingly joined in the celebrations of the Glasgow players, throwing his arms up in the air, knowing that the whistle had already gone.
Unsportsmalike?? The clip is available for all to view online so you can judge for yourself.
Some journalists, pundits and fans slammed Itoje for his actions, with some even suggesting he should have been sent off for bad sportsmanship. Plenty of others, though, thought such behaviour was just part of the game. It even prompted a response from a Scottish MP;
MP Ronnie Cowan even entered the debate, saying: “There is no place in rugby union for the behaviour of Maro Itoje mocking Glasgow Warriors players at the end of the first half. Emotions run high in contact sport. He needs to respect the game if he won’t respect fellow players.”
We think that the Glasgow players should have the last word perhaps by beating Sarries in the re-match and silencing Maro on the day!