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Aviva Premiership
Saracens 'urgently seek to overturn' Melck's red card
ESPN Staff
May 10, 2014
Justin Melck is issued his marching orders by Greg Garner © Getty Images
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Saracens say they will "urgently seek to overturn the red card" that was shown to flanker Justin Melck in the second-half of their 31-27 loss to Leicester at Welford Road on Saturday.

Saracens' statement

  • "The touch judge obviously thought he saw something, but he certainly didn't see what he thought. Justin made no contact with eye, a fact corroborated by the Leicester player afterwards. It was a simple human mistake, albeit a very disappointing mistake for a charming man playing perhaps his last competitive match for the club.
  • "Saracens will do everything possible to ensure this red card is rescinded. To their great credit, Leicester Tigers have offered their unequivocal support."

Melck was issued with a straight red card by referee Greg Garner, on the advice of the touch judge, in the 44th minute of the match for alleged contact with an opponent's eye. Melck looked bemused at the call and Sarries confirmed post-match they will appeal the decision in what could be his last game for the club.

"We are hugely disappointed with the decision," Saracens boss Mark McCall said. "It seems very unusual for a touch judge, who is in the position he was in, to make that kind of call and decide not to consult the fourth official.

"Their player did not complain and subsequently said it did not happen. To make a call of that magnitude with 40 minutes left is staggering. We will look to have the decision over-turned. Justin is not that kind of player, it was a dreadful decision."

McCall was backed by Leicester's director of rugby Richard Cockerill, who said: "Neil Briggs was the supposed victim and he said there was no eye-gouging. It was just a hand across the bottom of his face. He said it was a mistake by the officials.

"I don't think Melck is a dirty player and I don't think he did it. Hopefully, it will get resolved by the authorities."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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