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Thursday Oct 3, 2019

Tavuyara shown straight red card despite copping a knee in the face

Tavuyara shown straight red card despite copping a knee in the face

Reigning Pro 14 champions Leinster kicked off their title defence with a narrow 32-27 win away to Benetton last weekend, who finished the match with 14-men after winger Iliesa Tavuyara was sent off for taking out Dave Kearney in the air.

The incident divided opinion as Tavuyara also appeared to be struck by the knee of Kearney in the process of jumping for the ball. Nevertheless, referee Ben Whitehouse gave Tavuyara his marching orders just eight minutes into the second half.

It had been a tight encounter with the scores level at 17-17, so Tavuyara’s exclusion came at a critical point in the match.

No doubt Tavuyara was not in a position to catch the ball and did take Kearney out in the air, with the Leinster winger needing to place his arm out to prevent himself landing on his head.

Whitehouse took this into consideration when dealing with his Television match Official and deemed that, had Kearney not stretched his arm out, he would have otherwise landed on his head, thus warranting a red card.

However, on close inspection of replays, it is clear that Tavuyara was himself struck by Kearney’s leading knee as the latter competed for the high ball, with officials seemingly missing the contact.

While Tavuyara’s sending off may well have been warranted, no action was taken on Kearney as it appears to be an acceptable technique for taking high balls.

Initially, Tavuyara’s expulsion didn’t seem to have much effect on a Benetton side which has shown vast improvements over the past 18 months. Indeed, the responded in perfect fashion by scoring through Luca Sperandio.

Leinster hit back, ironically through a Kearney try to move the visitors back into the 29-27, before a Ross Byrne penalty sealed the victory.


  • katman
    7:29 AM 04/10/2019
    Top Comment

    Two Leinster players - particularly no.4 - deliberately obstructing the chasing winger who has to change direction at the last second. No wonder he can't get up properly to compete. Also, could have landed on his head is not the same as landed on his head. Poor decision.

  • 45678
    10:54 PM 03/10/2019

    He’s fallen from a decent height, but he didn’t land on shoulder neck or head, so yellow would suffice even without the knee or barge from 4

  • bigdaddyt1970
    5:54 PM 03/10/2019

    #4 should have been given yellow as well as Tavuyara was win air when he barged/obstructed him. The refs hands are tied as Leinster Fly landed on shoulder head area. Obviously wasn't a tackle. Unintended collision that would never have happened with out the shoulder barge from Leinster 4.

  • benny
    1:20 PM 03/10/2019

    And somehow we've decided that the guy flying through the air with his knee bent is the one concerned for safety, not the guy with his feet on the ground.

  • im1
    10:00 AM 03/10/2019

    No mention of the Leinster 4 obstructing him?

    • danknapp
      10:26 AM 03/10/2019

      I know, he got a tasty little barge in. Hard to see how they didn't think that might have diminished his culpability.


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Tavuyara shown straight red card despite copping a knee in the face | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos