Red Card Embarrassment

Red Card Embarrassment

A first-half red card was hardly an ideal return to my old stomping ground of Welford Road.

Not only did it leave my Worcester team mates with the uphill task of playing 50 minutes with only 14 men but it was an embarrassing way to leave a game.

I got sent off by Wayne Barnes in our 43-13 defeat by Leicester after hitting my old team Tom Croft high and late with my arm.

When I watched it back on TV later, I have to admit that it looked absolutely awful.

But I didn't mean it. I am not that sort of player.

I was just trying to come across to get myself in a position to make a covering tackle. Ed Slater lost the ball in the tackle, Crofty suddenly stopped and I had half a second to make a decision. I was going quite fast and put my arm up to protect myself and basically ran straight into him.

It was not malicious. But I was mortified to receive my marching orders.

I felt awful sitting there watching the game on the bench and, after the whistle, I apologised to the lads and tried to keep my head down. I had a couple of beers with Geordy Murphy, Marcos Ayerza, Martin Castrogiovanni and Paul Burke. It was low key though and not the way I would have liked to celebrate going back to a ground I have loads of fond memories of.

To be fair, the Tigers crowd were superb to me. Before the kick-off, they clapped me off after the warm up and, even as I was trudging off following the red card, they didn't give me a hard time.

That meant a lot. I loved my time at Leicester and had shared some wonderful times with the fans there.

I was devastated over the weekend and it took a while to come to grips with what had happened.

My mood improved though when I avoided any further punishment at the RFU disciplinary hearing. They deemed that the red card was sufficient. They knew that it wasn't malicious but it was still a huge relief at getting let off.

They are very good at not letting you know what they are thinking too. It was awful standing there waiting to find out if you will be allowed to play in the next game or not.

Anyway, moving on. We have been working hard on the training ground this week. We have been unbeaten at home all year in 2012 at all levels and with Irish and Exeter to come, we are highly motivated to maintain that record until the end of the season.

Tom Croft survived and the tackle and was helping raise money for charity serving behind the bar at a fundraiser the following night.


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