Vine: Wasps flanker somehow avoids red card after taking out airborne Dave Kearney
Remember Ulster's Jared Payne got a red card for contesting a high ball against Saracens last year?
That may have been slightly harsh but there is no doubt that, if Payne's offence was a red, Ashley Johnson's stupid shunt on an airborne Dave Kearney, the Wasps man should have been sent off. The incident was one of many talking points in a 20-20 draw that saw Leinster top their pool.
Johnson barged into the Leinster winger after 17 seconds of the Champions Cup Pool 2 encounter at the Ricoh Arena. The referee, Jerome Garces - THE SAME GUY THAT SENT PAYNE OFF LAST YEAR - consulted with the video ref and then flashed Johnson a yellow.
Kearney was substituted after four minutes - following an early, converted Fergus McFadden try - with his shoulder supported in his jersey. A dislocation would, most likely, rule him out of the Six Nations. Leinster did confirm an AC injury for the Louth native but it is too early to time-frame his re-hab.
Here is the Johnson hit:
Ian Madigan missed two penalties for Leinster before finding his range and the TMO went in the visitor's favour as Isaac Boss, on for the injured Eoin Reddan, sniped over to score a fine try.
Leinster lead 20-6 at half-time but not before Kane Douglas avenged Kearney with this late [yellow card-earning] hit on Johnson:
Matt Mullan bulled over for a 61st minute try for Wasps and Nathan Hughes added another to set-up a nervy finish. Andy Goode made it 20-20 after getting a second bite of the conversion penalty.
Madigan missed the chance to clinch the game with his fourth penalty miss of the day before Goode snatched a late drop goal attempt right and wide.