South African lock Ryno Pieterse produced one of the most blatant red card offences you’re likely to see in modern rugby during a Top 14 game on Saturday.
The Castres replacement charged towards Bordeaux scrum half Maxime Lucu midway through the second half and dived dangerously at the Frenchman’s chest moments after the halfback had cleared the ball.
Pieterse absolutely nailed the little playmaker while he was still off his feet and he was subsequently shown a red card by Romain Poite having only been on the pitch for a short while.
One of the reddest red cards you will ever see 😳pic.twitter.com/LS7YMFC8MI
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 18, 2021
Despite the monstrous collision, some fans have suggested the hit was only marginally high and not very late, but former international referee Nigel Owens waded in on the discussion via Twitter.
“I never get involved in citings or length of ban conversations,” Tweeted Owens. “But this was as obvious a red card you will see and well done Romain, no TMO lengthy conversations. But it has to now be followed by a very, very lengthy ban.”
I never get involved in Citing’s or length of ban conversations. But this was as obvious a RC you will see and well done Romain, no TMO lengthy conversations. But it has to now be followed by a very very lengthy ban. https://t.co/oh2r1DGu2A
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) September 18, 2021
Journalist Paul Eddison added: “No need for a TMO here. Absolutely no idea what Ryno Pieterse was thinking but one of the most stupid things I’ve seen on a rugby pitch. Fingers crossed that Lucu is ok.”
No need for a TMO here. Absolutely no idea what Ryno Pieterse was thinking but one of the most stupid things I’ve seen on a rugby pitch
Fingers crossed that Lucu is okpic.twitter.com/DFrZKlMnSG
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) September 18, 2021
A small brawl sparked immediately after Pieterse’s challenge and despite going down to 14 men with 15 minutes left on the clock, Castres managed to secure a late draw through a penalty kick in the dying minutes.
Pieterse previously played for the Bulls in South Africa and signed for the French club in 2020 and it’s looking likely the big second row will be spending a lengthly period on the sidelines.
After three rounds Castres sit fourth in the Top 14 table having won the opening two games of the season and salvaging a 23-23 draw against Bordeaux.