French referee Romain Poite will have woken up a little sore this morning following a nasty collision with 6-foot-3 Irishman Rhys Ruddock just minutes before the end of Leinster's clash with Wasps last night.
The first round match of the Champions Cup at the RDS Arena in Dublin felt more like a training session than a cup match as the hosts destroyed their out-of-form opponents 52-3.
Leinster demolished the English premiership team with an eight-try slaughter which resulted in a record European loss for the Wasps - their only points coming from a single penalty secured by Lima Sopoaga.
Irish fly-half Johnny Sexton was on fire as he put five kicks between the bars, and set up James Lowe’s second try of the match with a stunning through-the-legs back-pass in the 61st minute.
Reigning champions Leinster were a force to be reckoned with - highlighted dramatically in Ireland international Rhys Ruddock’s collision with the unfortunate referee Poite.
Watch below as with just a few minutes left on the clock, Poite gets laid out as the unsighted Ruddock smashes into the back of him accidentally.
The commentators almost comically noted “Romaine Poite’s down. He got hit didn’t he? He still managed to get his whistle up though!
“When you’re not expecting it that’s mighty painful.” At close to 18 stone, it must have knocked all the wind from the unsuspecting Frenchman.
After several seconds on the ground, play stopped and medics rushed on to help. Eventually, after administering an HIA (Head Injury Assessment), the wounded official had to be led off and replaced for the final few minutes of the game.
Irish back-row Ruddock was only drafted in last-minute when flanker Dan Leavy was injured in the warm-up, giving Rhys the nod to jump in as the replacement.
Poite will probably be wishing that Leavy had been more careful in the warm-up, though, as they both ended up with injuries.
Referee Romain Poite will undoubtedly have to grow eyes in the back of his head from now on, and will certainly be much more cautious after this unfortunate collision!
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