FURIOUS Dragons boss Dean Ryan slammed the decision to send off flanker Taine Basham at Worcester – and launched an attack on Europe's refereeing supremo.

The 20-year-old forward was shown red in the first quarter of the European Challenge Cup clash at Sixways but the Rodney Parade region battled for a consolation bonus point courtesy of replacement scrum-half Luke Baldwin’s late breakaway try.

They remain top of Pool One after the 34-28 defeat in the West Midlands but failed to record a vital away win after playing for an hour down to 14 men.

Basham was dismissed by referee Marius Mitrea for a tackle on Worcester’s Gareth Simpson, who he lifted and dumped on his upper arm.

The Italian official, who didn’t have the help of a television match official, consulted with one of his touch judges and dismissed Basham.

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“I don’t think it was a red card,” said director of rugby Ryan. “I think it was a rugby incident that could be dealt with by a penalty or at worst a yellow card.

“He (Mitrea) kept saying all day that he didn’t have a TMO, then why did he jump to a red card without a TMO to confirm it?

“It was nowhere near a full tip and with no TMO to reinforce that I just don’t understand it. There are rugby incidents in a collision sport and I don’t believe that was a situation that merited a red card.”

Ryan was also incensed that in the build-up to the Warriors game he was contacted by former international referee Joel Jutge, now head of match officials for European Professional Club Rugby.

“I got contacted in the week by Joel Jutge about an individual in our team. He hasn’t even played in Europe yet,” said the Dragons boss.

“I would say they (EPCR) have got bigger issues to focus on rather than looking at our players.

“For the head of European refereeing to make contact with me about elements of our game that concern him, I just find that incredible.”

When asked what had been raised Ryan declined to reveal the details.

“That’s for me and him but it was incredible,” he said. “I am gobsmacked by that process. It’s not like he hasn’t got any Champions Cup stuff going on this weekend.”

“People have to put some scrutiny on EPCR,” he continued. “The Premiership is under massive scrutiny, the PRO14 is under massive scrutiny but we go into EPCR and there are no TMOs and have inexperienced official teams.

“EPCR need to look at what they are trying to achieve with the Challenge Cup, because that was a good contest. I am very disappointed with the red card and I am very disappointed that we were contacted in the week given the fixtures that were on this weekend.”

The Argus understands it is about one of Wales’ World Cup contingent of Elliot Dee, Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty.

The Dragons are still top of Pool One ahead of Friday’s return fixture at Rodney Parade with Ryan hailing the battling performance of his team.

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“I’m proud of our group. That was an incredible shift and we hardly put a foot wrong in terms of organisation and understanding,” he said.

“I could sit all day and go on about the first try being from a blocking situation and another was after high shot on Sam Davies.

“But what’s the point? Let’s just focus on how proud I am of this group. I am so proud about how we performed in incredible circumstances.

“To score twice and hold our organisation and hold a seven-man scrum, I am not sure what else we could have done in that situation. Eventually it would leave some numbers around the pitch.”

“The emotion in the changing room was that we cannot wait for next week. We were outstanding, almost as good as anyone could be for that long.”