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'I don’t believe that is foul play': Van Graan gives his verdict on red card

REACTION: Bath boss Johann van Graan had a few complaints about Beno Obano’s red card in the Premiership Final against Northampton Saints at Twickenham Stadium.

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Bath played nearly an hour of the game a man down on Saturday after Obano was given his marching orders for a high tackle on Juarno Augustus.

Van Graan’s side delivered an outstanding performance before a brilliant run by Northampton replacement George Hendy led to England scrumhalf Alex Mitchell scoring a game-clinching try.

After the match, the South African was asked to give his verdict on Obano’s tackle.

“Look, I’m not going to comment on any laws,” said Van Graan. “That’s way above my pay grade.

“All that I can do is adapt to what decisions are made on the pitch.

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“Obviously, everybody wants the Premiership Final with 15 versus 15 on the pitch but I thought [referee] Christophe [Ridley] went through the process with the TMO and his assistant referees – and I thought he has been the best ref in the Premiership.

“All credit to him and well done on his first Final.

“[I] Shook his hand afterwards and we’ll have no issue with the red card decision that was made. Nothing more to say on that really.”

However, Van Graan did have something more to say not long after that.

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“Yes, I don’t believe that is foul play,” he went on to suggest about the Obano/Augustus coming together.

“I believe that is a collision between two extremely powerful rugby players, a ball carrier and a tackler.

“I’m not going to get into the whole red card debate.

“It’s unfortunate. We had a World Cup Final with a captain being red carded and a Premiership Final with a red card.

“With the decision itself, I have got no issues.

“I’d love to keep 15 versus 15 on the pitch but, as I said, there is absolutely no reaction from Ben [Spencer] or me or anybody in the group about the red card.

“That was the referee’s call and we will stick by that. All we focus on is our performance, which was heroic.”

Sources: @RugbyPass & AFP

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