Rugby World Cup fans accuse England star Theo Dan of ‘punching opponent’s head’

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Rugby World Cup fans have accused England star Theo Dan of “punching” Argentina’s Juan Cruz Mallia in the head after scoring a try in his side’s 26-23 win over the Pumas. Steve Borthwick’s side came through the tournament’s penultimate match on top but not without controversy, as Argentina’s first try was alleged to have come via a forward pass before Dan’s contentious moment.

Hooker Dan had gone from villain to hero in a matter of minutes, as his missed tackle allowed Santiago Carreras to go over for the try to give Argentina the lead. However, moments later Dan charged down a clearance kick and scored himself to atone for the error.

But during the second try he was accused of “punching” Cruz Mallia in the aftermath as he rolled away after touching down and attempting to break free of the tackle, but some fans watching on TV felt that he should have been punished for the incident.

On X (formerly known as Twitter) @areyousavvy wrote: “The TMO has been abysmal. Theo Dan threw a punch he should be sent off.” as they reacted to the incident.

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While @Ram5y was another to note the incident that was not pulled back by the TMO. They added “Did Theo Dan just punch the Argentina 15 in the head when he rolled back off him after scoring the try? And then got ignored by everyone?”

One social media user even felt that Dan needed “some temper control” for his antics. “How are players not allowed to dive on a player going over the line to try push them out but this is allowed – a punch to the head?” @alanahisrugby wrote. “Theo dan needing some temper control there, nothing even happened except him getting tackled.”

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Several fans were of the opinion that the TMO should have taken a closer look at the aftermath of the try. @Ebenezer68 wrote: “Not sure why Theo Dan’s celebratory punch on Mallia didn’t get a quick review.”

While @jneill echoed their sentiments: “Hold on, did England’s Theo Dan punch the Argentinian in the back of the head after he scored?”

Dan was not called back for the alleged incident and remained on the pitch for a further 10 minutes before being substituted off by Borthwick. England went on to hold firm to claim their bronze medals.

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