Gosport & Fareham had both Dugan brothers sent off in their 38-29 London one south defeat by Tottonians at Gosport Park.
Wes Dugan and Wayne Dugan were both dismissed as a brawl broke out in the second half – leaving the hosts to play the final 14 minutes with only 13 men.
Neil McRoberts considered them to be very harshly treated and felt both dismissals were unnecessary.
‘We felt our players deserved better,’ said the head coach.
‘Being a derby, the game was always going to have a bit of bite and edge about it.
‘I thought two red cards was over the top and it was a situation that could have easily have been prevented.
‘Both the Dugans are honest rugby players who play in a hard, physical but fair manner.
‘They were both genuinely upset and the fact they apologised to the referee afterwards – whether they agreed with their red cards or not – shows their character.’
Tottonians received a yellow card for their part in the incident.
And that left McRoberts wondering what might have been.
‘It was my players I felt most sorry for,’ said the Gosport Park chief.
‘I am convinced we would have won but for the red cards.’
Wayne Dugan gave Gosport & Fareham the perfect start with a penalty after just 80 seconds before they conceded two cheap tries to trail 14-6 after 17 minutes.
The home side regained the initiative with two converted tries of their own through Kieron McRoberts and captain Tim Snowden.
The rollercoaster first half ended with a Tottonians try which saw the visitors lead 21-17 at the break.
There was little let-up in the action after the restart as home number eight Chris Thompson crossed for the first of his two scores. Another Tottonians try on 66 minutes was followed by the brawl that saw the Dugans dismissed.
Despite the lack of numbers, Thompson crossed again in the final minute to show the hosts’ fighting spirit.
There was still time for Tottonians to add a final converted try.
‘I thought we were fantastic, playing intelligent rugby with great intensity,’ said Neil McRoberts.
‘In the past few weeks I have been critical but this time all the players stepped up to the mark.
‘With a little better game management when we were in front we could easily have won it.
‘To a man it was a great effort from my players.’
Gosport & Fareham now face the prospect of being without Wes Dugan and Wayne Dugan for at least a couple of weeks.
‘The club have suspended them and are waiting to see the referee’s report,’ said McRoberts.
‘Chances are they won’t be able to play for at least a couple of weeks.’