Xavier Rush was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Courtney Lawes as Cardiff Blues went down 23-19 to the Northampton Saints at the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend. The result of the fierce contest effectively eliminated the Blues from the Heineken Cup.
Rush, a former All Black number eight, saw red after he flew out the line to make a crucial momentum stopping tackle on lock Lawes as Saints were threatening after a move from deep. The hit virtually decapitated the England second rower though, who took it well considering the impact.
He got up, played on, but left the field after less than ten minutes. Its since been reported that hes fine and suffered no ill effects. Rush on the other hand, could be in line for a citing following the red card that was shown to him by referee Jerome Garces.
Lawes did dip into the tackle, but the Blues number eight – not known as a dirty player – was responsible for the point of contact, so unfortunately even if he would have hit chest high with Lawes standing upright, the result was ultimately dangerous.
“It was a physically intimidating game but we didn’t take a backward step,” said Saints coach Jim Mallinder. He said Lawes was okay after the controversial tackle.
“It was a big hit and anyone who takes Courtney around the head needs to be fairly high! Rushie is an experienced player and he has gone into the tackle and taken Lawes’s head off. He was probably committed to it,” he added.
Despite losing Rush, the Blues could have hung on for the win but errors and a late try cost them as they went down for their first home loss in 13 matches in the tournament.
Do you think it was a harsh call to give a straight red, or did the officials get it right?