Here's why Italy lost two players after getting one man sent off
An absolute kick in the teeth for Italy.
Hame Faiva was looking to make a statement with his tackle, but over-stepped the mark.
18 minutes into Ireland's Six Nations clash with Italy and the visiting side were holding their own. Joey Carbery had converted his own try but the score was just 7-3 after Italy responded with a penalty.
Hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi had been forced off with an injury after nine minutes, and that would prove crucial when his replacement Hame Faiva was red-carded for this collision with Dan Sheehan:
RED CARD ITALY 🟥
Sub Hame Faiva sent off and, with the starting hooker already injured, Italy now have to play with only 13 men pic.twitter.com/I1xtAICSWJ
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) February 27, 2022
What the rugby laws state
So, with Faiva red-carded and Lucchesi off injured, it meant there would be no hookers in the front row for the final 62 minutes of the match.
That meant uncontested scrums and, due to the World Rugby guidelines on uncontested scrums, Italy had to be reduced to 13 men for the remainder of the game.
For those asking, here are the World Rugby guidelines on uncontested scrums
First event was Lucchesi injury ❌
Second was Faiva red card 🟥
Can see this one being revisited but, for now, we are where we are pic.twitter.com/giQZi9SQ87
— Pat McCarry (@patmccarry) February 27, 2022
"I think this law has been exposed [today] for what it is," said an unimpressed Rob Kearney on Virgin Media at half-time in the match.
Italy No.8 Toa Halafihi and winger Pierre Bruno both had to leave the pitch, with only prop Ivan Nemer coming on. Italy were upset, but the laws are the laws and they would only have 13 men to finish the game.
Sure enough, Ireland soon had the Italian lines breached, time and again. Jamison Gibson-Park, Mike Lowry and Peter O'Mahony had all crossed for tries before the first half ended.