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Wood apologises for Burger stamp
Gloucester prop Nick Wood apologised to his team-mates for his early red card as Saracens stormed to the top of the Aviva Premiership with a 44-12 victory at Allianz Park.
Wood stamped twice on the exposed head of man of the match Jacques Burger with just 73 seconds on the clock in the second fastest dismissal in the league's history.
The England Saxons prop has a fine disciplinary record, but he appeared to be sighted as he brought his boot down on to Burger, some distance from the ball, and now faces a lengthy ban.
Referee Wayne Barnes was left with an easy decision to make and Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies agreed with the official's call.
"It's very difficult for Nick, he's in bits in the changing room. I saw it on the big screen like everybody else and it didn't look great," Davies said.
"Nick is not a dirty player and never has been. He's a good technician and a good rugby player.
"We'll look at the video and take it from there. The red card, as it was seen by the referee, was fair.
"Nick's apologised for what happened and has been big enough to do that. He's a good guy and will come back stronger. Everybody makes mistakes."
Gloucester, fancied by some to finish in the play-offs this season, have now lost their opening two matches of the Premiership.
Sale prevailed 22-16 at Kingsholm last weekend and Davies, who revealed England fly-half Freddie Burns left the pitch shortly before the end due to dizziness, derived greater satisfaction from the spirited showing in north London.
"In a bizarre way I'm a lot happier about the way we went about our business with 14 players this weekend than we did with 15 last weekend," he said.
"It was always going to be a tough ask to come here and we were in the right frame of mind and the boys showed that to carry on the way they did.
"We're not where we want to be after two games, but I'm confident this team will start winning sooner rather than later.
"Right now we're in a tough place, but the boys won't let their heads drop."
Tries from Joel Tomkins, Schalk Brits and Billy Vunipola and two from David Strettle produced Saracens' second bonus-point victory in two matches, while Owen Farrell kicked 17 points.
"It was a professional job done by us. Defensively we were brilliant. It was a pleasing result and a good performance too. We were good value for our five points," Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said.
"Jacques has had a difficult couple of years so to come back and put in the performances he has against London Irish and now Gloucester is brilliant for him and the club. He's an elder statesman."