Thursday 23 February 2017

Cynical cheats becoming a blight in game

Published 13/11/2015 | 02:30

Referee Nigel Owens
Referee Nigel Owens

In recent months I've started to notice, and last weekend was a prime example, of a player being sent to the sin-bin through little or no fault of their own.

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Francis Saili made a tackle but got trapped under the Edinburgh player, who lay on top him, and made no attempt to try and get the ball back.

There must also be an onus on the ball-carrier to make the ball available, but the Edinburgh player knew there was a penalty coming so he just used all of his bodyweight. It was the accumulation of a number of team penalties and that resulted in Saili getting yellow.

There needs to be more common sense because cynical play is creeping in and it goes against the ethos of the game for any cheating to take place.

We saw how Glasgow exposed a little naivety in the Munster defence, early in the Pro12, when they won penalties as a result of their scrum-half falling over Munster players trapped on the ground, and tacklers deliberately being held in the ruck.

A more pragmatic view needs to be taken, someone like Nigel Owens uses his common sense, why can't every referee do likewise?

Irish Independent

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