If you watched the epic 38-all match of the season nominee involving Paul Roos and Bishops 1st XVs played on Saturday 23 April 2022, there was no getting away from the commentator’s reference to a particular player coming off the bench to make a vital impact, who had picked up two yellow cards and thus a red during the proceeding 2nd XV match.
This is part of the changing face of school rugby. There are more cards being handed out than ever before.
In a time gone by, schools that subscribed to a high standard of discipline would probably have punished one of their rugby boys found guilty of picking up a red by suspending him for the next match and perhaps adding other non-rugby related corrective action to the sanction, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offence committed. This was a distinguishing factor between schools with the extremes being a very hard and rigid line taken versus allowing the player to participate in the very next school match without much recourse.
However these days a player can be carded for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or even committing a technical infringement such as a professional foul with no malice intended whatsoever. If he accumulates two yellow cards or even in instances where he is shown a straight red, there are now grounds for a school officials from institutions that pride themselves on maintaining the highest standard of disciple as part of their educational benefit, to review and dismiss the sending off as “time served”, meaning no further sanction necessary.