Toulouse skipper Marchand cited after officials miss 'the reddest of red cards'
Toulouse captain Julien Marchand could miss the Heineken Champions Cup final at Twickenham on May 22 after he was cited for an alleged dangerous tackle that was described by two of BT Sport’s rugby pundits as “the reddest of red cards”.
EPCR received the complaint from match citing commissioner Ed Kenny (Ireland) following last Saturday’s win for Toulouse against Bordeaux. Marchand clashed with Bordeaux’s Romain Buros in a dangerous manner but the foul play was missed on the day by the match officials.
Simon Thomas (Wales, chair), Gareth Graham (England) and Antony Wheat (Ireland) have been appointed as the independent disciplinary committee for the hearing which will take place by video conference on Wednesday, May 12.
Following last weekend’s win for Toulouse, which will see them take on La Rochelle in the London decider, former Lions skippers Brian O’Driscoll and Sam Warburton were incensed that Marchand’s shoulder to the head of Buros had gone unpunished.
Toulouse were only leading 11-6 at the time and a red card for their skipper Marchand at that juncture could have swung momentum the way of Bordeaux and helped them reach their first-ever final instead of losing out in a semi-final contest killed off by Antoine Dupont’s 72nd minute try.
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“That is the reddest of red cards,” claimed O’Driscoll. “He [Marchand] almost has to spring to get the collision shoulder to the impact point. There is no bend of the body from Buros. He is fully straight and Marchand has hit high. For me, would it have been the difference in changing the game? Potentially. It’s still only a five-point game.
“I’m sure the citing commissioner will be having a look at it. Sometimes when you don’t see multiple replays referees can miss them and they are human like the rest of us. But it seemed like a big moment with lots still to play on the clock.”
Warburton added: “It’s their captain as well, it would have been a big turning point in the game. Another point worth mentioning is there was no wrap at all, it was pure tuck of the right arm. There is nothing going in his favour in that example. Like you say, it is the reddest of reds.”
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