'It's never my intention to go out on the field and hurt someone... I deeply regret what I did'
Hepetema was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes after for a no-arm shoulder shot that connected with the head of Tigers’ back Kobus van Wyk in the 60th minute.
Speaking at the time, BT Rugby commentator Austin Healey said the centre can have ‘no complaints’.
“We’ve seen a lot of red cards over the last couple of weeks. That’s one of the worst for me because he’s got loads of time to drop his height and target the ball and actually win the collision legally. He actually physically tries to hit him with his shoulder,” said Healey. “It’s poor timing, it’s bad technique and there’s malice in it. It’s a definite red card and really avoidable.”
The 26-year-old Brent-born centre, who signed for London Irish in 2018 and made a handful of Super Rugby appearances for the Blues and one for the Waratahs, apologised for the tackle and to Van Wyk and his own teammates.
“I want to acknowledge my actions last night and apologise to Kobus and my team London Irish.
“It’s never my intention to go out on the field and hurt someone but that was dangerous and not acceptable in the game we play. I deeply regret what I did and hope you’re ok brother,” tweeted Hepetema.
I want to acknowledge my actions last night and apologise to Kobus and my team @LondonIrish. It’s never my intention to go out on the field and hurt someone but that was dangerous and not acceptable in the game we play. I deeply regret what I did and hope you’re ok brother.
— Terrence Hepetema (@TerrenceHepetem) March 6, 2021
London Irish mounted a thrilling fightback – albeit with 14 men – but ultimately ran out 33 – 32 losers.
— Steven Smith? (@media_steven) March 5, 2021
London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney refused to drawn on the incident following the match: “I can’t make any comment at this stage on the sending-off but going down to 14 men always has an effect, although we were still well in it towards the end.
Red card for Terrence Hepetema ?
Very bad tackle to say the least ? London Irish are down to 14 men. pic.twitter.com/tW1iaBfd2H
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 5, 2021
“We weren’t clinical enough in the first half as we had a good deal of pressure but didn’t make it count. We shouldn’t have been just drawing at half-time.”
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