Gloucester head coach George Skivington praised the character of his team after they clinched a last-gasp 20-19 win at Wasps, despite having Ollie Thorley sent off.
England winger Thorley was shown a red card after 28 minutes following a head-on-head collision with Rob Miller and the Cherry and Whites trailed 19-17 in the closing stages, having earlier led 17-0.
However, Billy Twelvetrees’ 78th-minute penalty snatched a crucial victory for Gloucester, who had Val Rapava-Ruskin sent off in their previous away match at Bath, which moved them off the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership.
Skivington said: “We’ve had a few practice runs with 14 men, unfortunately, so to actually fall on the right side of it is great, but it’s not something we want to continue doing.
“It does make life hard – I think we’re giving people opportunities to come at us a little bit, but you can’t fault their character.
“The way they stick in and stick together is a testament to them.
“We all want the game to get safer and there are measures in place now where, if your head touches someone else’s head it’s a red card, so, within the context of the law, it’s fine.
“We all want to make it safer, we want to protect the players and I’m a massive advocate of making the game safer.
“But it is tough because there are a lot of lads who haven’t had a card in their lives who are suffering on these split-second decisions.”
Ollie Thorley red card, my god??
— Jack Nowell (@nowellsy15) March 6, 2021
Gloucester opened up their lead thanks to tries from Santiago Socino and Chris Harris, which came either side of Thorley’s red.
Quick scores from James Gaskell and Miller hauled Wasps back into contention and they completed the turnaround through Josh Bassett, only for Twelvetrees to strike at the death.
Wasps head coach Lee Blackett said: “It’s pretty dead down in the dressing room, as you can imagine, but there’s a lot of frustration there.
“The thing we’ve spoken most about recently is our discipline and we have to learn.
“We have to learn or we’re just not going to win Premiership games.
What would a Premiership game be these days without a side of red? ?https://t.co/GtvDPjOPdD
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 6, 2021
“You can’t give that many penalties away – look at our ourselves in the first half – and win Premiership games, it just won’t happen.
“It’s not acceptable and we’ve just got to take a good, hard look at ourselves and exactly what we’re doing.
“The staff will take a good, hard look at themselves during the week and the players are going to look at those [penalties] and we’ve just got to learn.
“We’re showing the penalties every week, but having said that, there are a few out there that are going to be hard to show because we were harshly done to.”
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