Friday 21 July 2017

Brian O'Driscoll agrees with Hurricanes boss that Iain Henderson deserved 'orange card' for spear tackle

Iain Henderson of the Lions is shown a yellow card by Referee Romain Poite of France during the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour match between the Hurricanes and the British & Irish Lions at the Westpac Stadium
Iain Henderson of the Lions is shown a yellow card by Referee Romain Poite of France during the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour match between the Hurricanes and the British & Irish Lions at the Westpac Stadium
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd believes Iain Henderson came very close to being sent off for a tip-tackle on Jordie Barrett in this morning's 31-all draw at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington and Irish rugby legend agreed with his assessment.

O'Driscoll was famously the victim of a spear tackle during the 2005 Lions Tour of New Zealand after he was lifted above the horizontal and driven to the ground by Tana Umaga Keven Mealamu, a tackle that resulted in a shoulder injury that ended his tour.

Comparisons have been drawn between the action of Umaga and Mealamu 12 years ago and the role Henderson and Jonathan Joseoh in this morning's incident.

Henderson, who was brilliant throughout, saw yellow in the 66th minute after he and Joseph lifted Barrett and dumped him on his shoulder.

Barrett was fine afterwards but Boyd was dismayed to hear Roman Poite discuss the possibility of awarding a penalty alone.

"I was a bit horrified when I was listening to the mic and at first they were talking about nothing, because clearly he was tipped well above the horizontal," he said.

"The starting point for that is yellow, and the penalty around that as I understand it depends on where you land. It doesn't have anything to do with the intent. You could accidentally land on your head or shoulder, and that determines the penalty.

"It was probably an orange in my mind, somewhere between a yellow and a red."

O'Driscoll agreed with Boyd's opinion on the matter, tweeting: "I think that's a fair comment."

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