WORCESTER Warriors face the possibility of going into Saturday’s Aviva Premiership match against Sale Sharks at Sixways without captain Jonathan Thomas following his red card at Northampton.

A tribunal will this week decide whether Thomas should face any further punishment for striking out at Saints back-rower Sam Dickinson during the 30-14 defeat at Franklin’s Gardens.

It was a dismal day for Warriors as far as their discipline was concerned as Sam Betty and Leonardo Senatore were also sent to the sin-bin.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan admits his skipper has “no defence” for his actions but also claimed he had seen much worse.

With Dickinson shown a yellow card for his part in the incident, the Sixways chief also believes officials should do more to clamp down on the illegal actions of players at the driving maul.

Ryan said: “There’s a citing procedure in place and they never cite anything like that ever so we can never say it’s ever dealt with, yet everyone knows it goes on.

“Therefore, when people try and deal with it themselves we end up with a red card.

“We’re going to have to go to a tribunal with our captain and all because nothing gets dealt with and it’s not just this time. I’m frustrated that we end up looking at the reaction of things.

“We’d sat under our posts because of a penalty try and there were four or five guys holding off the ball and nothing gets done about it.

“He [Dickinson] got yellow carded for taking a man off the ball away from the drive but it wasn’t picked up until he got a slap round the chops.

“He [the referee] only came back and saw it because of the reaction. What do we do?

“You tell JT to hold his counsel, but we’ve already been under the sticks once and know it’s going on.

“That was a crucial point of the game. We were under pressure, we knew we were going to have to fight hard but I would have liked to have done it with a full complement of forwards. It was 16-11 at the red card and we were in the game.

“It was a good try from us and we could have got something out of that. I don’t know what but we don’t know now.”

Ryan added: “Nobody has got an issue with JT, we’re just a little bit frustrated that we end up with a red spoiling it a bit.

“He’s disappointed because of the ramifications going forward.

“It’ll go to a tribunal, people will talk about striking the face and you’ve got no defence.

“You watch things that are going on every week and suddenly we end up with a big man going down with a slap in the face – I’d be more embarrassed about that.”