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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Matt Banahan harshly carded for hit on Mirco Bergamasco

Matt Banahan harshly carded for hit on Mirco Bergamasco

Wing Matt Banahan received his marching orders from referee George Clancy during Baths meeting with Stade Francais in their tense Heineken Cup meeting at the Rec on the weekend. Stade snuck home with the win late in the match, 29-27.

Weve featured a few clips lately that have brought up the question of refereeing consistency and leniency. On the Henry Tuilagi video, where we see him absolutely demolish Ben Foden, the referee let the tackle go with out as much as a talking to.

Here though, we see that if a team has been spoken to, the referee gets wound up by repeat offences, and theres pressure from the opposing team, a refs judgement can easily come into question unfortunately.

The first bit in the clip shows Julien Arias receiving a high tackle, and then a shoulder in the ribs from Shontayne Hape. Arias went off injured, with Bath being penalised and spoken to by Irish referee Clancy.

A little over a minute later, 6ft7 Banahan made a great hit on Mirco Bergamasco. Stade Francais appealed feverishly, from both on the field and the bench. Clancys first reaction was to yellow card the giant winger.

Bath coach Steve Meehan questioned the decision, saying that for a yellow card and a penalty to come from it is extraordinary.

"It was a terrific, legal tackle. Where does that come from? He didn't deserve 10 minutes in the bin," he said.

Banahan, still only 22, wants to take his chances to prove that he deserves a regular spot in the England team.

"This is a massive season for me. It's always tough to follow up a really good season with an even better one. But that's what I want to do. I want to improve and show I deserve to be picked by England, said Banahan.

If he keeps putting in great hits like this, improving his all round game, and charging hard at defences, as we saw on the weekend, hell become a top class winger in no time.

Do you think this a great hit by Banahan, or was the referee correct to yellow card him?

Time: 02:55

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