Ireland star's shocking red card only made worse by his treatment of referee
By Rugby Onslaught

Ireland star’s shocking red card only made worse by his treatment of referee

Connacht and Ireland centre Bundee Aki could find himself in big trouble this week after receiving a red card against the Stormers on Saturday.

The 32-year-old was shown red by referee Gianluca Gnecchi on 62 minutes at the Danie Craven Stadium for a shoulder charge to the head of Stormers winger Seabelo Senatla at a ruck, and it is pretty hard to argue with the decision. However, Aki tried to.

The centre repeatedly protested “where do you want me on the clean out” while the red was being brandished, to which Gnecchi said “I already explained to you.” Though Aki does have a case here, as Senatla was right over the ball, there was still plenty he could have done. He could have opted to not sprint in will full force, he could have chosen to use his arms instead of shoulder charging, and he could have tried to get below Senatla’s head. All round this was not a good look for Aki, who had only been on the field for ten minutes and had already conceded a penalty.

What is worse is that the Stormer’s head coach John Dobson has hinted that Senatla could be out for a long time as a result of this clash.

“It’s done a serious injury to Senatla,” he said after the match.

“I feel a bit sorry for Aki, because I know what he was trying to do. It’s tough, but we can’t have Senatla out for the season.

“We’ll scan him tomorrow (Sunday). Rugby is just evolving fast … big people moving fast.”

This could have grave consequences for Aki as well, with Ireland’s autumn internationals coming in November, where Andy Farrell’s men take on South Africa, Fiji and Australia.

The Stormers came away 38-15 winners in what was the first game of their URC title defence.

Take a look at the red card: