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'He knows what he's doing' - Wales flanker red carded for 'stunningly stupid' cheapshot

By Ian Cameron
Taine Basham is sent off.

Dragons flanker Taine Basham found himself in hot water as he was red-carded for a seemingly needless elbow to the back of the head of Leinster flyhalf Ross Byrne.

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The Dragons were hosting Leinster in a Round 5 clash at Rodney Parade and with scoreline favouring Leinster 26-10.

The incident unfolded when Byrne, in the process of clearing the ball into touch, was unexpectedly struck by Basham’s stray elbow in the back of the head, with the Wales flanker making no meaningful attempt to tackle the Irishman.

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The contentious play did not go unnoticed, with the Television Match Official (TMO) Stefano Roscini reviewing the footage before referee Gianluca Gnecchi determined that Basham’s action warranted a red card. The decision left the Dragons with a numerical disadvantage.

Taine Basham
Taine Basham targets Ross Byrne

RTE commentator Donal Lenihan succinctly captured the essence of the incident, stating, “He knows what he’s doing.”

One fan wrote: “That’s a stunningly stupid bit of work from Basham” while another described it as a ‘Brain dead challenge’.

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Dragons second row Matthew Screech was then given a yellow card minutes later for a clumsy headshot.

Dragons RFC: Cai Evans, Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes (CAP), Aneurin Owen, Jared Rosser, Will Reed, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, George Nott, Dan Lydiate, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: James Benjamin, Aki Seiuli, Luke Yendle, Sean Lonsdale, Ryan Woodman, Dane Blacker, Jack Dixon, Ewan Rosser

Leinster: Ciarán Frawley, Tommy O’Brien, Jamie Osborne, Charlie Ngatai, Jimmy O’Brien, Ross Byrne, Ben Murphy, Jack Boyle, Dan Sheehan (CAP), Thomas Clarkson, Joe McCarthy, Jason Jenkins, Ryan Baird, Will Connors, James Culhane

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Replacements: Lee Barron, Paddy McCarthy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Max Deegan, Scott Penny, Cormac Foley, Harry Byrne, Rob Russell

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