Leicester Tigers against London Irish was an incident-packed event this past Friday at Welford Road, with Wayne Barnes in the thick of the action, issuing two yellows and a red card, all for similar types of tackles.
London Irish crossed within 40 seconds of kick-off before Barnes dished out the first card of the day just five minutes later when Matt Rogerson was yellow carded for a high tackle.
Winger Kobus Van Wyk scored a lovely try for the Tigers but was on the receiving end of a high shot in the second half, when London Irish centre Terrence Hepetema went in too upright.
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While it looked innocuous in real time, replays showed that the Kiwi’s shoulder connected with Van Wyk’s face as he ducked into the swinging arm tackle.
“That’s not an attempt to grasp at that point, is it. So we’ve got foul play, we’ve got direct to the head so it’s a high degree of danger, there’s no attempt to grasp. We can’t mitigate that so it’s a red card,” explained referee Barners, before sending him off.
Hepetema will appear before an online independent disciplinary panel on Tuesday evening (9 March 2021), for contravening World Rugby Law 9.13.
Later, there was another yellow card for foul play in the second half, for Joe Heyes for a similar offence to that of Rogerson.
Irish ended the match with a late try, picking up two bonus points but going down 33-32 to the Tigers.