The Japan hero was sent off for hit on So'otala Fa'aso'o

Just 30 minutes into the Test between Japan and Samoa in Sapporo, we saw a Michael Leitch red card for a high shot on Samoa’s So’otala Fa’aso’o. Which now means waiting to see what kind of ban the back-rower may serve for the offence, and what effect it has on his start to the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Saloa went on to win 24-22.

Check out the incident below, when Leitch comes in as part of a double tackle on Fa’aso’o.

At the time Japan were leading 10-3. The first half would end 10-10.

Leitch didn’t wrap his arms as he made his hit and there was attention on how he tucked his shoulder.

Samoa came into things in the second half, taking the lead for the first time around 49 minutes. And they finished up scoring three tries to Japan’s one.

What was said about Michael Leitch red card?

According to Japan Times, skipper Kazuki Himeno spoke of his disappointment, saying: “We wanted to keep going without being too pessimistic about it but it did put a damper on our team’s morale. We couldn’t turn the tide.”

Fly-half Seungsin Lee also said: “How we play with a man down isn’t something we can experience in training.

“We did everything we could in that situation and we did lose in the end, but it was a positive experience and in a sense we learned a lot.”

Japan boss Jamie Joseph said: “I am really disappointed obviously with the result. It is very difficult to win a test with a man down with 50 minutes to go.

“We were confident at halftime in our own ability and playing. The game was always on edge even though we were a man down all the second half. We did well and stayed in the game until the very end but we were not quite good enough. If we had not lost a player, then I think the result would have been a little different.”

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