Tuesday 6 December 2016

Johnny O'Connor: Match officials need to punish wild tackles

Johnny O'Connor

Published 29/04/2016 | 02:30

Owen Farrell received a two week ban after being cited for for his wild tackle against Wasps Photo: Reuters
Owen Farrell received a two week ban after being cited for for his wild tackle against Wasps Photo: Reuters

I was sickened watching Owen Farrell leave the field with just a yellow card in Saracens' Champions Cup semi-final win over Wasps last weekend.

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He almost took Dan Robson's head off with a flying shoulder charge, and even if these players are being cited and banned (Farrell received two weeks) it's about time more is done about the issue during the game.

Saracens are in a Champions Cup final; Wasps are out. But I'm sure if he was given a red card on the spot, it could have altered things on the field. There was a half an hour to go at that point, and with 14 men on the field, surely Saracens couldn't hold out in the face of so much pressure.

But this wasn't the only dangerous tackle where a player should have been sent off, but instead stayed on the field to see out the rest of the game.

Fergus McFadden, amazingly, didn't even get a yellow card for his crazy tackle on Damien Hoyland in the second half of Leinster's Pro12 game against Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. He was later cited, but is it not time that the referees in question, Marius Mitrea and Romain Poite, are held accountable for not disciplining the players correctly?

Irish Independent

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