Shock sending off in English Premiership final as Austin Healey spots offence immediately

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Bath prop Ben Obano received a red card just 21 minutes into the Gallagher Premiership final for a high shot on Northampton Saints No 8 Juarno Augustus.

With the final level at 3-3 following an impressive drop goal from Saints number 10 Fin Smith, powerful No 8 Augustus received the kick off. As the South African charged into contact he was met by a direct shoulder to his face from Bath and England loosehead prop Beno Obano.

Initially play was allowed to carry on but former England star and TNT co-commentator Austin Healey called it immediately. "They've got to look at that Obano," he said on TNT Sport.

"It was a definite high hit. If it is it was proper dangerous." Television match official Tom Foley stopped play soon after, with referee Christophe Ridley saying there had been direct contact with Augustus' chin, he was always upwards, and the level of danger was always high.

You can watch it here.

The only sticking point was whether there was any mitigation with the debate centred on if Augustus had dipped into contact but Ridley disagreed and proceeded to award a red card to Obano. "I'm seeing that as a natural brace and I'm not seeing that as an unusual significant dip in height," said Ridley.

"There has to be preparation for some sort of brace so I'm not considering that for mitigation and I'm thinking red card." Healey went on to say it was an example of "exceptional refereeing."