Footage Of The Fend That Resulted In Arno Botha’s Ridiculous Red Card Against Saracens


Munster kept their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final hopes alive last night with a 10-3 win over Saracens in Thomond Park.

But the game ended in bizarre circumstances as Arno Botha was handed a ridiculous red card in the final moments for a fend on fellow replacement Nick Tompkins.

The home side had already started celebrating the win when JJ Hanrahan kicked the ball out with the clock in the red. But referee Romain Poite halted proceedings and refused to blow it up as he went back to check with his TMO.

Peter O’Mahony scored the only try of the game.

The footage showed Botha did indeed fend Tompkins high with his elbow connecting with the throat area. But Tompkins is upright and tries to tackle the monstrous South African very high.

It’s very similar to the incident between Samuel Kerevi and Rhys Patchell at the World Cup but in no way is it a red card. Perhaps a penalty, maybe even a yellow if you want to be strict but a red? Come on.

We spoke to Munster head coach Johann van Graan after the game and his initial thoughts were the referee had no choice but he hadn’t seen a replay of the incident at the time.

“I will have to go and have a look at it again. Initial thoughts, the referee didn’t have any choice. Look, it happens so quickly, it was literally instinct,” van Graan said.

“It was such a great carry.

“Obviously he [Botha] feels bad about it. It happens in a split second. We’ll just have to go look at it.”

No doubt when he does look at it again he’ll think different. Have a look yourself below. If that’s a red we all might as well give up.

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