DRAGONS boss Dai Flanagan said emotion got the better of Taine Basham after the Wales back rower was red-carded for an ‘inexcusable’ late elbow in the Rodney Parade defeat to Leinster.

The Rodney Parade club were beaten 33-10 by the Irish heavyweights, who crossed for five tries in their triumph in Newport.

The Dragons were 26-10 down when Basham flew in late on fly-half Ross Byrne and caught him in the head with his elbow.

Referee Gianluca Gnecchi looked at the footage on the big screen before sending off the Wales international.

The World Cup star, who was making his second Dragons appearance of the season, will now miss Saturday’s derby with the Ospreys at Rodney Parade.

South Wales Argus: OFF: Taine Basham was red-carded for the Dragons against LeinsterOFF: Taine Basham was red-carded for the Dragons against Leinster (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“It was very silly,” said Flanagan. “Taine wants to be a top-end player, but that wasn’t good enough and top-end players don’t do things like that.

“It’s hard to defend him after an action like that. Emotion and anger gets the better of people and we saw that in that one incident.

“We know that he's better than that and we have to help him through this.”

The Dragons suffered a fourth successive loss of the season and third home defeat after Leinster followed Edinburgh and Cardiff in leaving Newport with the spoils.

Tries shortly before half-time and within a minute of the restart after a handling mistake by Wales wing Rio Dyer proved to be costly.

“It was 14-3 at half-time and we talked about putting the pressure on them but we made an error and they went the length of the field to score,” said Flanagan.

“It was 26-10 when Taine was sent off and we had a lineout 15 metres out with the opportunity to build pressure. Instead we relieved pressure and it was game over.

“We are doing some stuff that is not acceptable. We are not going to get wins unless we start performing better and eradicate the errors.

“We have the Ospreys in a derby game next and it's personal. We have to get 15 on the field after a six-day turnaround but it's one we can look forward to and be excited about.”

South Wales Argus: Referee Gianluca GnecchiReferee Gianluca Gnecchi (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Leinster were more than good value for their win but Flanagan was left angry by technical problems that meant Gnecchi was unable to hear his team of officials in the first 40 minutes.

“I am going to have a rant here, and that is very unlike me,” said the head coach. “In the first half we were in the game and there were no comms between the touch judge and the referee.

"We were hearing 'blue infringement, blue infringement, offside' that the ref hasn't given, then we found out at half-time the mics weren't working.

"We want to be a good league in the URC and do things properly but stuff like that is difficult to accept.

"I've been very public about how good I think the league is and it's important that I say it when things are really, really poor.

“It wasn't the officiating itself - I thought the ref did a good job in the middle - but there was no way to help him out.

“There are big momentum swings on wet days, we didn't get the rub of the green and he must have thought everybody was clean.”