Flanker is first Ireland player to be red-carded in the Six Nations era

Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony sent off against Wales

Peter O’Mahony was sent off just 14 minutes into Ireland’s opening Six Nations match against Wales at the Principality Stadium.

Coming in to clear out at a ruck, the Ireland flanker’s shoulder clearly made dangerous contact with the head of Wales prop Tomas Francis.

The incident was brought to the attention of Wayne Barnes by the Television Match Official and once the referee had reviewed the footage he was quick to show a red card.

It was dangerous contact to the head and with force, O’Mahony coming into the breakdown from some distance, so it was a clear sending off.

You can watch the incident here…

O’Mahony is one of Ireland’s most experienced players, but was extremely reckless in how he entered that breakdown.

He is the first Ireland player to be sent off in the Six Nations era and only the fifth in Test history.

Wales had lost an experienced back-rower of their own a couple of minutes earlier as Dan Lydiate’s return to international rugby lasted just 12 minutes and seven seconds.

Lydiate was starting his first Test since November 2018 but appeared to seriously damage his knee as he closed in on a tackle with Keith Earls. He initially played on but lasted only a couple more minutes before being replaced by Josh Navidi.

Ireland rallied well after the red card and were leading 13-6 by half-time. Johnny Sexton’s two penalties matched a couple from Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny, then Tadhg Beirne scored a try in the 37th minute.

Robbie Henshaw set that score up, breaking a couple of tackles to get within five metres and offloading to Josh van der Flier, who got even closer. Then the ball was recycled, Beirne picked up and drove over from a metre out.

Wales scored two tries in the second half, though, through George North and Louis Rees-Zammit to win 21-16.

Related: Louis Rees-Zammit produces sensational finish against Ireland

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