Friday, May 02, 2014
Ulster prop Tom Court was shown a straight red card in tonight's RaboDirect PRO12 match between Ulster and Leinster at Ravenhill. Court was part of a double tackle on 6ft11 Ireland lock Toner, and appeared to drive him to the ground as Toner twisted.
Prop Court and hooker Rob Herring made the tackle and lifted Toner before - as we've seen on previous occasions - the tackled player turned, and in the process the tackle outcome changed. That's the way it looked anyway, and unfortunately he landed face flat in the turf.
Former Ireland international Paul Wallace tweeted about his frustration with the decision.
"He's gone above the horizontal, and he's landed on his neck. I've got no option but a red card," explained referee Luke Pearce, much to Ulster captain Johan Muller's annoyance.
"You are joking," could be heard twice, as Court seemed to say something like "Please Sir... I let him go in the air," trying to indicate that there was no malice involved.
Malicious or not, Toner landed terribly and with the laws the way they are - to protect players in the tackle - the referee was correct in saying that he had no option but to give a red card.
UPDATE: Leinster won the match 22-20 after a tight finish. Court tweeted the following to Toner:
In another controversial incident, Rob Kearney was yellow carded for a high tackle on Paddy Jackson as the Ulster flyhalf sprinted in for a try. You can see that on page two off this post.
UPDATE: Court has been suspended for 2 weeks. You can read the full press release here
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Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play