Jasper Wiese of Leicester became the third player to be red-carded for a shoulder to the headshot in this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership round ten action after he was sent off on 27 minutes in the Tigers’ home game with Wasps on Saturday.
Gloucester prop Val Rapava-Ruskin was red-carded in the ninth minute on Friday night at The Rec following a forearm-led challenge to Bath lock Josh Bayliss’ head. And Bath lock Mike Williams departed midway through the third quarter after a shoulder-led high hit on Gloucester full-back Kyle Moyle.
These two Premiership sending-offs were followed the next day by the dismissal of Leicester No8 Wiese for the collision his right shoulder made with the head of Wasps’ Ben Morris who went off for a head injury assessment. The play had continued and Leicester had thought they had scored a try through Cyle Brink to move 16-3 ahead and were ready to take a conversion.
However, referee Craig Maxwell-Keys consulted with his TMO Claire Hodnett about the collision involving Wiese and the Leicester try was chalked off following a video review and a red card shown to the Tigers forward. Here is how the decision was reached, with the BT Sport commentary of Austin Healey interspersed with the dialogue of the two officials:
CH: Just getting the far-side angle, Craig. We need to review that, please.
If you're looking to gain 40m, just leave it to Jasper Wiese! ??
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) February 20, 2021
CMK: Time off. His left arm is there but you are right, that reverse angle is the one we are going to have to look at again because if that arm is tucked then he is always illegal. Let’s just check the facts, I agree. Foul play, there would be with a tucked arm, he is always illegal… and then we just need to check where the contact is before we go any further.
AH: I’m sorry but this is going to be a red card for Wiese. Watch the clear-out. Morris is over the ball. It’s shoulder, his arm is tucked under, onto the head, it’s a red card. Very similar to last night. He’s gone.
CMK: So his arm is across his chest, do you agree Claire?
CH: Craig, his arm is always tucked and he is not in a position to make a tackle.
CMK: Or he is not in a position to bind onto the player he is rucking out of the way.
CMK: So he is always illegal. We have established we have foul play. So that angle again please and let’s just pinpoint the point of contact… so it is indirect, chest riding up, or is it direct contact with that shoulder to that head/neck area?
CH: Point of contact is direct to the head.
CMK: And it’s a dominant clear-out so there is no mitigation, it’s a red card.
CH: Agreed, Craig.
CMK: We are talking about a ticked arm so always illegal so we can’t mitigate as it is always illegal, shoulder direct to head and it’s clearly a dominant clear-out as the player goes flying out the back of the ruck. It’s a red card.
AH: They are all right, they are all 100 per cent correct decisions. Unfortunately, particularly at the ruck, the ruck is about body height, about hitting low and getting underneath. The two last night, again the same. If you have got time to adjust your height you have got time. If you haven’t got time I understand the mitigation but there is no mitigation to that. It’s a red card.
'It’s painful when someone weighing 130kg runs as hard as they can at someone else'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 18, 2021
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