CitizenBlogA red card in rugby used to be few and far between, but with implementation of new rules around players safety they are becoming much more frequent.





Depending on when they take place in a match, red cards can have a massive influence on a game and the Six Nations has been particularly impacted this year. In the opening weekend Ireland got a first-half red card against Wales and lost the game narrowly despite dominating for long periods with 14 men.

The next week Scotland and Wales were involved in a battle at Murrayfield only for Scotland to receive a red card and ultimately lose the game by a point.

Saturday it was Ireland’s turn to see red against England at a time where they looked to be moving comfortably towards victory. Fortunately the Irish managed to play just as well with 14 men and actually extended their lead at one point.

I tweeted after the Irish red card, but there was one thing all of these cards seemed to have in common and that is that the team that got them was the team that I had backed on the day. I received a response that the Irish red card was very harsh against England and while I was in total agreement, I realized over the past weeks that I just need to accept some of these red card decisions and move on.

I cannot understand for example how 2 players slipping into each other and colliding heads in a tackle can warrant a red card whereas a player stomping on another’s arm seemingly on purpose will just get a yellow?

I totally understand the reasons for cracking down on foul play and high tackles, but when as in the France v Wales game on Saturday you hear the TMO say, “not deliberate” and the player still gets a red, it can be incredibly frustrating both for fans and punters alike.

I have accepted the fact that there are going to be plenty of red cards to come and that I am probably not going to agree with many of them. Some of these cards will impact my bets in the negative and I may even benefit from a few financially and I have decided that the best way to watch and enjoy the game is just to accept the lottery that the red card has become.

Twitter: @BrentGraham.

This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 25 March 2021.

Brent Graham is a blogger on and sends a free weekly e-mail list just CLICK HERE to register