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Aviva Premiership
Coach slams player for 'slap' reaction
ESPN Staff
February 17, 2014
Jonathan Thomas gets his marching orders for punching, Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors, Aviva Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, February 15, 2014
Jonathan Thomas gets his marching orders © Getty Images
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Embattled Worcester coach has criticised Northampton's Sam Dickinson for his part in the 52nd-minute dismissal of Warriors forward Jonathan Thomas in Saturday's game at Franklin Gardens.

Dickinson pulled back James Percival at a maul and as a result Thomas thumped him. Referee Wayne Barnes sin-binned Dickenson but showed Thomas a red card. Northampton went on to beat the 14-man Warriors 30-14 and Ryan made clear he thought the referee got it wrong and that Dickinson made a meal of the incident.

"We're just a little bit frustrated that we ended up with a red spoiling the game," Ryan said. "You'll go to a tribunal and people will talk about a strike in the face and you've got no defence. It's just wrong, and it is wrong because I've seen worse cuddles.

"Let's watch every week and watch things that are going on and suddenly we end up with that. A big man goes down from a slap in the face. I'd be more embarrassed about that. He [Dickinson] got yellow carded for taking a man off the ball, but it wasn't picked up until he got a slap round the chops. He got a slap round the face and fell over.

"You end up with two people off the field for not much. A slap and a reaction because of a holding."

Asked if he would have gone to ground had he been hit, Ryan replied: "I don't know. It depends who slapped me round the face."

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