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Ospreys have no complaints following Dan Evans' first-minute red card

By Online Editors
Ospreys' Dan Evans leaves the field after being shown a red card against Racing (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Ospreys offered no complaints after seeing full-back Dan Evans receive one of the quickest red cards in professional rugby union history.

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Evans was sent off by referee Frank Murphy after just 37 seconds at the Liberty Stadium when his boot made contact with Racing 92 wing Teddy Thomas’ head as he claimed a high ball.

Ospreys also saw Wales backs Scott Williams and Aled Davies sin-binned during an opening half when they were briefly reduced to 12 men as Racing claimed a 40-19 Heineken Champions Cup success.

Asked about the Evans incident, Ospreys forwards coach Carl Hogg said: “I think it was unintentional. But I think nowadays any contact to the head, the player is going to be in trouble. Clearly, when you get as many red and yellow cards, discipline is an issue.”

Ospreys skipper Dan Lydiate added: “It was never intentional, but (by) the letter of the law, player safety is paramount.”

(Continue reading below…)

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European title contenders Racing – beaten finalists in 2016 and 2018 – did not require a second invitation to capitalise as Thomas’ try double, a penalty try and touchdown for hooker Teddy Baubigny secured a bonus point before half-time.

Davies, wing Hanno Dirksen and prop Ma’afu Fia claimed tries for the battling Ospreys, with fly-half Marty McKenzie adding two conversions, as they held their opponents 12-12 after the break.

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Racing managed further scores for Yoan Tanga and captain Henry Chavancy, while Maxime Machenaud, who was sin-binned four minutes from time, kicked four conversions.

Hogg said: “It makes it very difficult when you lose a player in the first minute of the game, then concede a couple of yellow cards and play the majority of the first half against one of the best sides in Europe.

“Credit to the players. In the second half they regrouped and showed a huge amount of character and spirit to battle back, because it would have been very easy to fold.

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“It is disappointing that we didn’t really give ourselves an opportunity to stay in the contest, but there are elements of that game we can take away and apply going forward in the season.”

Wales centre Owen Watkin, meanwhile, limped off after just 17 minutes, which compounded Ospreys’ first-half problems. “Owen has got an issue with his knee,” Hogg added. “I haven’t had a full assessment. We will see where that sits Sunday or Monday.”

Racing’s win took them top of Pool Four by a point from Munster with three games left.

– Press Association 

WATCH: Finn Russell gives Jim Hamilton a kicking masterclass at Racing 92’s training ground in Paris

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finn 5 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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S
Simon 7 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

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