Debate has been sparked in the rugby world after Leicester Tigers’ centre Guy Porter was shown a red card for a “shot to the head” in his side’s 10-29 victory against French powers Clermont.
In a classic Champions Cup battle, the English Premiership leaders started the game on the back foot. But a monumental second half performance has allowed them to take a 19 point advantage back to Welford Road for the second leg.
The Tigers’ physical style of play and stern defence stifled a Clermont attack which put up 41 points last time out. However, as the game edged towards the hour mark a red card to outside centre Guy Porter created fears that all Leicester’s hard work was about to be undone.
The incident occurred as Porter rushed out of the defensive line and without looking clashed into the head of Clermont’s Fritz Lee. After a TMO discussion, it was decided that Porter should be shown a red as there was direct contact to the head.
"Even if it's accidental, it's still a red card. You've got a duty of care."
Was Guy Porter's collision with Fritz Lee worthy of a red card? 🟥@dallaglio8 & @ugomonye discuss… #HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/77cm8O0LzZ
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 10, 2022
The decision has caused a good deal of debate in the rugby community, with Twitter users disagreeing on whether it was worthy of a red.
“Looked to me like he was running into space trying to close options down, getting a red card for that is harsh. Dangerous precedent if you can’t run into space!”
“People will stop watching if rubbish like this carries on. The attacking player looks more culpable watching it anyway.”
Some however, did think the ref had made the right call.
“Not sure it could be more red. Almost need a new colour card for a tackle that poor.”
“Is it intentional? No. Is it really unfortunate? Yes. But according to the letter of the law is it a red? Definitely.”
This was not the only controversial incident in European rugby this weekend, with a highly debated tackle in the all Irish affair between Connacht and Leinster and one of the most blatant red cards in recent memory during Saracens’ match against Brive.