Bristol man knew he was off before his heinous tackle was even over
Red cards are pretty common in modern rugby, with a dismissal coming almost every couple of games. A lot of the time it is a marginal call where the tackler may have just got their height wrong or the ball carrier dipped late. Then there is Siva Naulago’s red card against Bath today at the Rec.
The Bristol Bears winger produced such a monstrously illegal shot on Bath winger Will Butt that he actually knew it was a red card before Butt had gone to ground, raising his hands apologetically. Unfortunately for him, that is not enough.
In Naulago’s defence, Butt had lowered his level slightly, but that is not enough in this day and age. He launched his shoulder with a lot of force to the head of the Bath wing, and new it as soon as he hit him.
Almost every weekend there is a lot of controversy surrounding at least one red card in the professional game- but not in this match. Despite the red, Bristol led at the Rec 21-5, although Bath produced a comeback in the second half.
15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Will Butt, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Spencer; 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Tom Doughty, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Mike Williams, 5 Ewan Richards, 6 Josh Bayliss ©, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Taulupe Faletau
16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Joe Cokanasiga
15. Ioan Lloyd (58 apps); 14. Siva Naulago (14 apps), 13. Semi Radradra (32 apps), 12. Antoine Frisch (7 apps), 11. Alapati Leiua (94 apps); 10. Callum Sheedy (122 apps), 9. Oscar Lennon (2 apps); 1. Jake Woolmore (100 apps), 2. Harry Thacker (67 apps), 3. Jake Armstrong (24 apps), 4. Dave Attwood (67 apps), 5. Joe Joyce (c) (141 apps), 6. Chris Vui (84 apps), 7. Jake Heenan (66 apps), 8. Sam Jeffries (44 apps).
System players: 16. Bryan Byrne (25 apps), 17. Yann Thomas (84 apps), 18. Ashley Challenger (4 apps), 19. Steven Luatua (91 apps), 20. Dan Thomas (103 apps), 21. Theo Strang (5 apps), 22. Tiff Eden (17 apps), 23. Piers O’Conor (98 apps).
The Ratu Naulago red card 🟥
— Saffas Abroad Rugby (@SaffasRugby) March 5, 2022