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'He's gone' - Tearful Beno Obano costs Bath with moment of madness

By Neil Fissler
Ben Obano is given his marching orders Credit: TNT Sports

Beno Obano will take an unwanted place in the history books after being only the second player to be sent off for a high tackle for his moment of madness at Twickenham.


The Bath loosehead was shown a straight red card after 22 minutes by referee Christophe Ridley for a high tackle on Northampton Saints No.8 Juarno Augustus.

Obano, Maro Itoje’s cousin, was left to sit in stunned disbelief, tears following his checks after Ridley was given little option.

He had been in the running for a place on England’s summer tour to Japan and New Zealand, but any suspension is likely to rule him off the plane this week.

Ironically, the first player sent off in a Premiership Final was Northampton’s Dylan Hartley, who was dismissed in 2013 for allegedly swearing at referee Wayne Barnes.

Hartley’s red card against Leicester Tigers proved costly, as it saw him miss the Lions’ tour to Australia that summer.
He told the RugbyPass offload show in 2020 that he almost wanted a taxi to take him home from Twickenham at half-time.

“When he [Barnes] sent me off, it was a moment of disbelief, actually. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It almost went like slow motion, like the whole world was ending. “Yellow cards are alright because you just jog off and know you’re going to come back on, hopefully. But red cards, it’s the slowest walk of your life.


“I knew the impact that that had. It was Northampton’s first-ever final in the Premiership, it was against our rivals Leicester. That season had been perfect for us. We were flying.

“I let down not only the team but the town. It was a pretty long walk of shame. I went straight to the changing rooms and had a moment with myself.

“I thought the easy thing to do here is to sit in. I felt like getting a taxi home, out the fire escape kind of thing,” he said.



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Mzilikazi 2 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Very good article, Nic, and I find agreement with what you write virtually 100%. I think this two mach series has increasingly become one which will be very difficult for Ireland to win. After the first game of the last 6N, I would have been very full of confidence taking on the Boks in SA. France beaten by a big margin in France, it looked as if Ireland had emerged in fine form from the World Cup, despite the very narrow loss to the AB’s. But after that game, a slide began, ending with the defeat to England. Ireland were very fortunate to win this years 6N ! And as you so fully expose, this has not been a good season for Leinster, or indeed, in my view, for any Irish province. The Leinster loos to the Bulls, and then Munster letting a glorious chance slip to the Glasgow Warriors down at Thomond. Man, that one will really hurt. And both Connacht and Ulster have at times looked very poor this seaso, bith heavily beaten on occassion. The loss of both Gibson Park and Keenan are huge blows, especially Gibson Park. And there is really only one clear class 10 in the touring party, Jack Crowley, and he is still a very young player learning his trade. If he goes down, heaven help Ireland. And in my view, Ireland do not have a good scrummaging front row, SA do, and in great depth too. But despite all this doom and gloom, I always believe my team can win. Not that they will win, just can ! Ireland will still field what is the best and most talented team overall that I have seen in my lifetime. But the coaching group will really have to step up, no awful decisions like the one made against the AB’s in the QF….keeping the totally spent and poorly performing(on the day) Sexton on for the full 80mins, leaving Crowley on the sidelines. Ireland should never have lost that game !

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Shaylen 4 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Ireland have all the tools required to hurt SA. They develop quick ball, hold onto the ball for long periods, stretch the game when its on, have powerful mobile forwards, a good kicking game and they can hold their own in the scrum. They also can force turnovers regularly and in general do well at the breakdown. When Munster, the Ospreys and Glasgow all won games in SA this year against the Bulls and Stormers they did just that and won. It is also the reason why Ireland won the game at the world cup last year. The problem for Ireland is that SA have all the tools required to hurt them as well and hurt them a great deal more than England did in the Six Nations. They are physical and powerful at the set piece, they rush up and counter the Irish attacking system and they can really attack the breakdown and slow your ball down. Their counterattacking threat is also a big weapon and they score many tries from turnover turning defence into offence in a second. Toulouse and the Bulls nailed Leinster in this way and Glasgow did the same thing to Munster. So the series will be really interesting because both sides are so good at countering each other. Interested to see what kind of surprises Tony Brown springs and how the SA game develops. Feel like SA have more potential to surprise Ireland but then a new coaching set up as well as the fact that Japanese and foreign based players tend to take about 5 to 6 weeks to get up to speed might work in Irelands favour. SA have shipped at least one game in 4 of the last 5 June/July test windows going back to 2018 for this exact reason.

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