Clip 1 - 25 October 2019 - Law 9

The Red Card

France kick a penalty into touch five metres from the Welsh goal-line and captain Guilhem Guirado throws into the lineout. Up goes lock Sébastien Vahaamahina of France to catch the ball. A maul forms around him. Vahaamahina has his back to Wales in the maul with Wales flank Aaron Wainwright slightly in front of him, i.e. between Vahaamahina and the other French forwards in the maul. French flank Wenceslas Lauret puts his right arm around Wainwright's neck and then Vahaamahina puts his right arm around Wainwright's neck more tightly and tries to pull him back. Vahaamahina then releases his grip on Wainwright's neck, withdraws his arm and then strikes the side of Wainwright's face with his right elbow, jerking Wainwright's head back. The referee allows time for advantage and then penalises Vahaamahina for grabbing Wainwright by the neck. After Wales kick the ball out, the referee's attention is drawn to the fullness of Vahaamahina's infringement. He gets the agreement of his assistant referees and the TMO and then sends Vahaamahina off the field.

In his comment on the decision, Didier Mené (from L'Equipe paper) writes: "There is no doubt: this brutality must be punished with a red card. It is not even a discussion."

World Rugby's judicial inquiry upheld the sending off and suspended Vahaamahina for six weeks. Jacques Brunel, the French coach, agreed with the red card.

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