Italy were reduced to 14 men during their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash with South Africa after Andrea Lovotti was sent off for a tip tackle.
After briefly consulting his TMO, referee Wayne Barnes rightly dismissed the Italian prop. In reality, Nicola Quaglio was lucky to avoid a red card as well.
The Italian duo dumped Duane Vermeulen on his head in an incident that reminded many of that notorious tip tackle by Umaga and Mealamu on Brian O'Driscoll in 2005.
— Steve Lenthall (@steve_l15) October 4, 2019
55: South Africa 25-3 Italy.
"Blue 1 is the worst offender of those two"
ICYMI: Here is the incident that saw Italian prop Andrea Lovotti sent off 'for dropping a player on his head' against South Africa.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) October 4, 2019
The decision was particularly foolish given the complexion of the game. Conor O'Shea's side were only down by 14 and in promising attacking position. As well as that, South Africa's scrum dominance had taken away as the game had moved to uncontested scrums. Finally, the whistle had already sounded.
Lovotti looks now set for a lengthy ban while South Africa continue to move through the gears.