Lions maul Force but Healy “bite” sours comfortable victory

BRITISH and Irish Lions prop Cian Healy will appear at a disciplinary hearing today, after being cited for allegedly biting opponent Brett Sheehan in the tourists 69-17 win over Western Force.

The 25-year-old was later injured in the match, screaming in pain as he twisted his ankle at the tackle, and though X-rays revealed nothing was broken England’s Alex Corbisiero flew out yesterday to provide cover.

With a possible ban looming, should Healy be found guilty of the allegations against him, coupled with a spell on the treatment table, head coach Warren Gatland has made alternative plans for the third match of the tour against Queensland Reds on Saturday.

“We’ve got Gethin [Jenkins], who will start on Saturday, he’s back training fully,” said Gatland.

“He [Healy] went for an X-ray and it’s not broken, so we just assume it’s ligament damage. He may need a scan to delve further into the potential of the injury.”

Lions had already taken control of the match when Healy was accused of biting, as Sheehan defended a ruck close to his own tryline on 18 minutes.

The television match official found replays to be inconclusive, though the citing commission later called for a hearing.

Team-mate Conor Murray could also be in hot water after Ed Stubbs accused the scrum-half of stamping at a ruck.

The Lions scored nine tries – two for stand-in skipper Brian O’Driscoll plus others from Jonny Sexton, Tom Croft, Jamie Heaslip, Mako Vunipola, Tommy Bowe, Owen Farrell and Geoff Parling – but Gatland admits his defence was the greatest area of concern.

“There are things for us to work on – our shape,” said Gatland.

“There were a good couple of things defensively that we identified that we need to work on, but it was pleasing.”