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'It's devastating for him' - Awful tackle sees Tahs recruit Perese sent off under new red card law variation

By AAP

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NSW Waratahs coach Rob Penney says he’s heartbroken for Izaia Perese after his comeback was derailed by a red card for a dangerous tackle that could see him out for half of the Super Rugby AU season.

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The former Queensland Reds back was sent off after 36 minutes of the opener against his old team when he flipped Hunter Paisami in an unnecessary follow-up to a tackle that had already forced the ball loose.

It left the Waratahs a man down for 20 minutes until Perese was able to be replaced under the new rules.

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However, the Reds scored all their points either side of that in a 41-7 rout at Suncorp Stadium.

After leaving the Reds, Perese’s short stint at the NRL’s Brisbane Broncos ended after he was charged with drug offences.

He had found a new home at the Waratahs, via a French rugby cameo, on a one-year deal.

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But the code’s harsh treatment of dangerous tackles and Super Rugby AU’s eight-game regular season before a two-week finals system means he could watch most of that from the sidelines.

“It was a fair call no doubt, but I just feel so heartbroken for Izzy,” Penney said.

“He’s a talented young kid who’s come back to re-establish his reputation and that’s a tough start for him.

“He’ll get a lot of support from us because we love him but it’s devastating for him, no doubt.

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“He’s playing his old club, probably a bit of over-arousal, and we tried to keep the heat off him this week for that very reason – but he’s a competitive man and he overplayed his card.”

Suspected ankle injuries to new captain Jake Gordon, who was among the best on ground before being caught awkwardly in a tackle, and Joey Walton, compounded the misery for Penney in what was a Super Rugby record loss to the Reds.

“It’s hard to tell at the moment … (Gordon’s) on crutches but we’ll see,” Penney said of his captain.

“It’d be a big loss, he’s just been made captain so there’d be implications but we have a great young leadership group doing a great job.

“The Reds opened us up and at 21-7 the red card occurred, not to concede another point for that 20-minute block was courageous … but we certainly weren’t good enough.”

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'It's devastating for him' - Awful tackle sees Tahs recruit Perese sent off under new red card law variation

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