Wales flanker slammed by his own coach for ‘indefensible’ red card

Colin Newboult
Taine Basham elbowing Ross Byrne in the Dragons v Leinster URC clash in 2023.

Taine Basham elbowing Ross Byrne in the Dragons v Leinster URC clash in 2023.

Wales flanker Taine Basham has been called out by his regional coach after being sent off at the weekend.

The back-rower was playing for the Dragons against Leinster in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Sunday and the Welsh side found themselves 26-10 down in the 65th minute.

Basham was evidently frustrated but he took it out in the wrong way, elbowing Ross Byrne in the head as the fly-half cleared the ball.

Cheap shot

It was a cheap shot that could have caused serious injury to Byrne and therefore may result in a lengthy suspension for the Wales back-rower.

Dragons boss Dai Flanagan was not very impressed with his player’s actions and offered no defence when he spoke afterwards.

“It was very silly,” Flanagan told reporters. “Taine wants to be a top-end player, but that wasn’t good enough and top-end players don’t do things like that.

“It’s hard to defend him after an action like that. Emotion and anger gets the better of people and we saw that in that one incident.

“We know that he’s better than that and we have to help him through this.”

The Dragons would end up going down 33-10 to the Irish province, which condemned them to their fourth consecutive defeat in the 2023/24 URC campaign.

They have the Ospreys up next in what is sure to be a feisty Welsh derby and Flanagan admits that they must improve in a variety of areas if the Newport-based outfit are to stop the rot.

“We are doing some stuff that is not acceptable. We are not going to get wins unless we start performing better and eradicate the errors,” he said.

“We have the Ospreys in a derby game next and it’s personal. We have to get 15 on the field after a six-day turnaround but it’s one we can look forward to and be excited about.”

Technology failure

In what was a bad day for the Dragons, Flanagan also said they had several penalties not awarded in their favour due to a communication issue.

“I am going to have a rant here, and that is very unlike me,” said the head coach. “In the first half we were in the game and there were no comms between the touch judge and the referee.

“We were hearing ‘blue infringement, blue infringement, offside’ that the ref hasn’t given, then we found out at half-time the mics weren’t working.

“We want to be a good league in the URC and do things properly but stuff like that is difficult to accept.

“I’ve been very public about how good I think the league is and it’s important that I say it when things are really, really poor.

“It wasn’t the officiating itself – I thought the ref did a good job in the middle – but there was no way to help him out.

“There are big momentum swings on wet days, we didn’t get the rub of the green and he must have thought everybody was clean.”

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