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Video: Wasps fuming over red card for Brookes

By Liam Heagney

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Defence coach Ian Costello has questioned whether alleged foul play from Kieran Brookes merited the early second-half red card which resulted in Wasps versus Leicester becoming the second 14-on-14 round ten match in this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership. 

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A player from each side was red-carded for headshots with the shoulder when Bath narrowly defeated Gloucester in the Premiership on Friday night and two more players saw red when Wasps visited Leicester the following day. 

Leicester’s Jasper Wiese was red-carded for the 27th-minute incident where his shoulder made contact with the head of Ben Morris. However, rather than make use of their one-man advantage, Wasps suffered their own red card when Brookes clashed with Tomas Lavanini in the 42nd minute. 

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Interviewed some minutes later on BT Sport, Costello was unhappy that Wasps has followed Leicester in going down to 14 men. Asked about the contest becoming 14 against 14 he said: “I’m struggling with the second one but I’m biased. 

“I thought the ball carrier was quite low and Brooksy was part of the tackle. I would probably need a look at it from different angles. I am all for looking after players, it just looked pretty harsh from up here but I could be wrong on second viewing. 

“It’s about timing really. There was one earlier where he was a little bit late and he took out the second man. Fair enough. I thought they both arrived together there, but player safety is paramount and good technique. We will have a look at it after and see was it warranted. We just have to deal with it now 14-on-14 and we have been playing poorly.”

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Here is how the decision was reached, with the BT Sport commentary of Austin Healey interspersed with the dialogue of the two officials, referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and TMO Claire Hodnett…

CMK: Time is off because the player that knocked it on is being treated where they scrum is going to be so we will have plenty of replays. 

AH: That’s the same. It’s a little bit closer, it’s not as evident. He does hit him with the elbow. 

CMK: We’re asking the same question, whether that right arm is attempting to wrap if we have head contact? 

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CH: That’s the best angle, Craig, Do you want to see that again?

CMK: So firstly we definitely have got a shoulder that hitting someone on the head. Agree? 

CH: Yes, he is not in a position or making a legitimate tackle. 

CMK: I could have some sympathy if I saw that arm coming up at least and it was deflected off the other tackler which prevented him wrapping, but I don’t see that as the issue. He was always tucking his arm, making no attempt to wrap. 

CH: Agreed, Craig. 

CMK: Okay, so let’s assess sanction points. It’s shoulder to the head so always illegal. So mitigation becomes irrelevant. It’s always illegal, shoulder to the head, it’s another red card.  

AH: I think that one is slightly more harsh because it is not his shoulder that hits him, it’s his elbow that hits him.

The match at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium eventually ended with 14 Wasps players playing 13 from Leicester as Tigers back row Hanro Liebenberg was red-carded for taking Josh Bassett out in the air in the 79th minute of a match that the home side won 27-8.

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Video: Wasps fuming over red card for Brookes

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