La Rochelle star Levani Botia became the first player in history to be shown a red card in a Heineken Champions Cup final on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Fijian put in a brutal high shot on Toulouse full back Maxime Médard which left referee Luke Pearce no option but to show him a red card in the first half at Twickenham.
— greub🐑 (@greub1) May 22, 2021
The collision left Médard on the ground in agony and despite originally being sent to the sin bin, Pearce changed his decision after concluding Botia’s shoulder made first contact with Médard’s head.
Shoulder to head, Levani Botia’s afternoon comes to an early conclusion…
The La Rochelle centre becomes the first player to be sent off in a @ChampionsCup final.
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 22, 2021
Levani Botia well off the pace unfortunately. Trained 20 minutes since the semi final, was always a big ask. None the less. 100% red card. Game over. #larvtou
— Jim Hamilton (@jimhamilton4) May 22, 2021
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) May 22, 2021
The first red card in a European cup final and it was the reddest of red cards. Botia’s original yellow for tackling within 10
metres simply had to be upgraded to a red. Shoulder to head. No mitigation. La Rochelle down to 14 men.
— Simon Thomas (@simonrug) May 22, 2021
That foul hit by Botia nearly wiped the mutton chops clean aff Medard’s face.#ChampionsCup
— Iain Hay (@iainhay82) May 22, 2021
Gutted for Botia and La Rochelle. But you can’t really argue about that red card.
I hope it doesn’t define the contest.#LaRochelleToulouse
— Ruairi O’Cathain (@RoryOKane_Raz_) May 22, 2021
NASA to launch all future rockets using Levani Botia’s shoulder
— Squidge Rugby (@SquidgeRugby) May 22, 2021
Botia nearly decapitated yer man Medard jesus
— David🇮🇪 (@DaithiM1234) May 22, 2021
Botia what have you done 🤦🏻♂️
— Ricky Harries (@RickyHarries) May 22, 2021