Stephen Ferris believes Munster could have been issued a double red card in the early stages of their win against Ulster for the tackle on Michael Lowry.
Simon Zebo was sent off after 15 minutes in Munster’s hard fought win against Ulster at the weekend, after his shoulder connected with the head of Lowry when the latter was catching a high ball.
Young Munster fly-half Jack Crowley also tackled Lowry at the same time as Zebo, and while the winger’s contact with the Ulster shoulder did look to be worse, Crowley also appeared to hit Lowry quite high.
Ferris was speaking about the incident at half-time on Premier Sports’ coverage of the match, and said that both Zebo and Crowley could have been given their marching orders for the tackle.
Stephen Ferris on the double tackle on Michael Lowry.
“I think it’s a slight timing issue. Ian [Keatley] and myself were talking about why aren’t players tackling low at the minute? Just take any of that concern out of it,” Ferris said.
“But Simon Zebo just unfortunately catches Michael Lowry on the head or on the jaw. Mikey gets straight back up onto his feet – I think it’s more of a glancing blow than a direct impact to the face.
“Mikey takes it and gets back up but it’s a red card unfortunately for Simon and Crowley, for me, they just got their timing wrong. And you know what? Both of them potentially could have been sent off for that.”
Simon Zebo’s red card was the talking point of the first half 👀
“For me, they just got their timing wrong. Do you know what? Both of them could have potentially been sent off for that.” 🗣️
“Anything to the head, it’s a red card.” 🟥 pic.twitter.com/70VCoXQp8h
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) January 8, 2022
Simon Zebo almost got off with a yellow card.
Although Zebo was ultimately shown a red card for his tackle on Lowry – while Crowley received no sanction – referee Mike Adamson had originally intended on giving the Munster winger a yellow card.
Adamson explained his thinking by saying that mitigating factors such as the second tackler and Lowry dropping height while catching the ball were enough to bring the sanction down to a yellow card.
However, after TMO Brian MacNeice asked Adamson to have another look at the incident, the referee decided to show Zebo a red card.
Munster ultimately overcame their one-man deficit to beat Ulster 18-13, thanks to a late try from replacement Alex Kendellen.