Saracens achieved a comfortable 44-12 victory over Gloucester at Allianz Park on Sunday after prop Nick Wood was sent off for stamping with just 73 seconds on the clock. It was the second fastest sending off in the history of the Premiership.
The home side went top of the table after the game was played with 15 against 14, and Gloucester struggled to cope with what would have been a big challenge even with a full side.
It came about after Wood, eager to get Jacques Burger clear at a ruck, made contact with the Namibian flanker’s head, giving referee Wayne Barnes no option but to send him from the park.
It was not only one of the quickest dismissals ever, but one of the fastest decisions, as Barnes had the card out before the players could even react, with a push and shove, to what had happened.
Wood was clearly distraught at what he’d done, going over to apologise to Burger before taking his place on the bench, head in hands thinking about the position he’d put his team in.
“It is very difficult for Nick – he’s in bits in the changing-room,” said Gloucester’s director of rugby Nigel Davies post match. “He’s apologised for what happened.
“I saw it on the big screen and it didn’t look great. But he is not a dirty player. He’s a good technician and a good player. Everyone makes mistakes. He will come back stronger from this.”
Wood and Burger could be seen shaking hands and chatting on the field after the match.
Incidentally, the fastest ever Premiership sending off was by Mike Watson of London Scottish in 1999, when he lasted just 42 seconds against Bath.
With Wood off the field, Saracens went on to score five tries and take a comfortable victory. Following the win, Saracens are now 2/1 with Betfair to win the Premiership.
Note: Perform Group removed the original video. Below are match highlights, including the stamp
UPDATE Wed 18 Sep: Nick Wood has been banned for 8 weeks.