Leicester boss Borthwick insists red card madness MUST stop

Leicester Tigers boss Steve Borthwick insists red card madness MUST stop after FIVE Premiership players were dismissed in two days

  • The Premiership saw five red cards handed out in just two days this weekend 
  • Jasper Wiese, Hanro Liebenberg and Kieran Brookes went in Leicester v Wasps
  • The day before, Bath and Gloucester had also seen players sent packing 
  • Tigers boss Steve Borthwick has branded the incidents as ‘unacceptable’  

Steve Borthwick admits the red card fever which has struck the Premiership over the weekend is ‘unacceptable and not good for the game’.

Yet the Leicester boss also believes players are learning and adjusting to the new tackling rules which are making such a huge impact on the sport.

Borthwick faces losing two of his key South African forwards, No 8 Jasper Wiese and flanker Hanro Liebenberg, to bans after they were sent off during a resounding victory over Wasps who themselves had prop Kieran Brookes dismissed for dangerous play.

Leicester Tigers boss Steve Borthwick has called for the spate of red cards to be stopped 

Jasper Wiese, Hanro Liebenberg and Kieran Brookes were all dismissed at Leicester v Wasps

The trio of bad tackling sinners at Welford Road took the tally in the Premiership to an incredible five red cards in two days with Bath and Gloucester also losing players on Friday night. 

Wiese was sent packing after just 27 minutes for flying recklessly into a ruck and smashing flanker Ben Morris in the face and sending him flying backwards.  

Brookes got his marching orders just after the break to even the numbers when a double tackle on led to the prop hitting his rival on the head with his forearm.

Liebenberg failed to compete for a high ball properly, taking his Wasps opponent dangerously out of the air and sending him crashing to the ground. Fortunately, no serious injury occurred.

Borthwick believes that the dangerous play leading to the dismissals needs to be put to bed

Borthwick insists measures need to be taken to clamp down on the sudden spate of sendings off. He insisted: ‘The rules are clear and refs have protocols to follow and I’m sure they did here. We have to deal with it and have to deal with whatever the ramifications are.

‘It is unacceptable and isn’t good to have three red cards in a single game. We need to stop it happening. But, saying that, each red card was different. One was a clear out, the next was a tackle in a maul and the last an accidental hit in the air.

‘It is wrong to brandish everybody in the same way. There were three incidents in a hard fought game of rugby. We have to try and minimise serious injuries to players. Players welfare has to be paramount.

Both Bath and Gloucester had players leave the field early too on this weekend of madness

Wasps boss Lee Blackett claimed: ‘I think the players are learning pretty well and fast but it’s just been a strange couple of days in the Premiership. With what happened in Bath and now here. There have been plenty of shots made and referees left with no other decision to make apart from red cards

‘Players will learn and adapt because the simple fact is they have to, or we will see more of these games with teams down to 13 or 14 players at the end.’

Tries from Wiese, Julian Montoya and Tommy Reffell helped Tigers move into the top six with a convincing victory while hooker Tom Cruse crossed for Wasps.

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