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Watch: Toulouse Man Sent Off For Shocking Tackle In The Air On Ulster Winger

Watch: Toulouse Man Sent Off For Shocking Tackle In The Air On Ulster Winger
By Gary Connaughton

Ulster resumed their European campaign this afternoon, facing Toulouse in France. While outsiders in the two-legged affair, their chances of upsetting the odds were boosted after a moment of madness from a member of the opposition.

Toulouse entered this tie as heavy favourites, having won the competition last year, although they have been short of their best in domestic competition this season and currently sit fifth in the Top 14 table.

That may have given Ulster a bit more confidence ahead of the game, with the Irish province given a major boost in the opening stages of the contest.

The tie took a serious turn after just ten minutes, with the hosts being reduced to 14 men due to a red card.

It came after Juan Cruz Malia was given his marching orders for tackling Ben Moxham in the air, upending the Antrim native as he attempted to collect the high ball.

The challenge was a very reckless one, with referee Wayne Barnes showing little hesitation in sending off the Argentine.

He certainly couldn't argue with the decision.

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Of course, red card are becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence in top level rugby, especially as the authorities attempt to crack down on high tackles. While some of those dismissals in recent times could be considered a tad unfortunate on occasion, there were no such excuses here. The Toulouse man was out of control and could have done real damage to his opponent.

Ulster will be hoping to reach the Champions Cup quarter-final for the third time in four seasons by overcoming the French side in this tie, a decent record for a side many have felt have been a bit below par in recent seasons.

Their chances of doing so were certainly done no harm due to this decision, although there is still a long way to go.

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