Wasps’ controversial red card to Toulouse that has divided the rugby world

By rugby attack

  • Dangerous
  • European Championship Cup

Another week and another red card that has proved controversial with fans and pundits as Wasps’ Jacob Umaga saw red against Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Playing as a fullback at the CBS Arena, the 23-year-old was sacked by referee Chris Busby after 34 minutes after a head-on collision with scrum half Martin Page-Relo as his side led 14-7. Although it was accidental, the referee believed there was no restriction, although many commentary and online disagree. It’s certainly not a pretty tackle, but opinions are divided.

Watch the tackle:

People like Andy Goode and Umaga’s Wasps teammate Malakai Fekitoa have commented online about the red, with Goode describing it as a “rugby incident”. It’s one of those situations where it’s easy to see where those who disagree with the red are coming from, but it’s equally easy to see where the umpire came from because there was clear head-to-head contact. It has been pointed out that this would have been completely avoided if Umaga tackled with the other shoulder.

This was not the only dangerous tackle in the game as Toulouse No8 Anthony Jelonch was shown a yellow card in the second half for a shoulder to the head from Alfie Barbeary. That was mitigated by the fact that Barbeary dropped his level just before contact, albeit an equally horrific collision.

Despite playing most of the game against the European champions with just 14 men, Wasps still came away with an impressive 30-22 win.

Wasps XV (First team appearances)
15 Jacob Morning (59)
14 Ali Crossdale (10)
13 Paolo Odogwu (23)
12 Jimmy Gopperth (140)
11 Josh Bassett (162)
10 Charlie Atkinson (19)
9 Sam Wolstenholme (26)
1 Rodrigo Martinez (1)
2 Tom Cruse (106)
3 Biyi Alo (26)
4 Tim Cardall (41)
5 James Gaskell (143)
6 Alfie Barbeary (20)
7 Brad Shields (65) (c)
8 Tom Willis (51)

substitutions
16 Dan Frost (9)
17 Zac Nearchou (5)
18 Pieter Scholtz (5)
19 Nizaam Carr (66)
20 Thomas Young (150)
21 Will Porter (40)
22 Rob Miller (127)
23 Ryan Mills (6)

Toulouse: Ramos; Mallia, Guitoune, Ahki, Lebel; Ntamack (capt), Page-Relo; Baille, Mauvaka, Aldegheri, Flament, Arnold, Cros, Placines, Jelonch.

Substitutes: Cramont, Neti, Tafili, Meafou, Youyoutte, Bales, Nanai-Williams, Medard.

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