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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 22 October 2020

Should Ashley Johnson have seen red for this challenge on Dave Kearney?

The Leinster wing may miss several weeks after damaging his shoulder against Wasps.

DAVE KEARNEY’S INVOLVEMENT in the early stages of the Six Nations is in some doubt after he suffered a shoulder injury in Leinster’s 20-20 draw with Wasps in Coventry this afternoon.

Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor indicated that Kearney would be sidelined for “several weeks” post-match at the Ricoh Arena, and with Ireland set to play Italy on 7 February, the left wing may be in a race against time to prove his fitness.

Kearney was injured in a controversial incident in the opening minute of the Champions Cup clash, when Wasps back row Ashley Johnson collided with the 25-year-old as he rose into the air to gather Andy Goode’s kick-off.

Referee Jérôme Garcès deemed Johnson’s actions worthy of ten minutes in the sin bin, but there have been many suggestions that the flanker should have seen red for what has been perceived as a reckless challenge.

Here’s what both coaches had to say after the game:

Wasps’ Dai Young

I thought it was the right decision, but they have gone the other way as well. But to me I thought it was the right call really.

It didn’t help our cause that’s for sure, it was very early in the game but it takes the wind out of your sails when you want to start big and put pressure on them. It means you’ve got to patch up in other areas.

Leinster’s Matt O’Connor

I haven’t had a look at it. The frustration for us is we lose a bloke for 80 minutes, they lose a bloke for 10 minutes. Now that doesn’t make sense to me, but I haven’t seen the incident again.

I don’t know whether it was right or wrong. A bloke takes a guy out illegally and we lose a guy, which compromises the bench. They lose a bloke for 10 minutes…

It was rejigged after the Jared Payne – Alex Goode incident last year. There is a duty of care on the player to make sure guys land safely.That is the law that they are running with.

It’s just disappointing to lose a guy a minute into the game and for several weeks and the sanction is 10 minutes.

What was your take on the incident? Should Johnson have been further punished or was ten minute in the bin sufficient?

Here’s what Leinster need to claim a home Champions Cup quarter-final

O’Connor disappointed with Leinster’s inability to close out Wasps clash

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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