Saturday 19 January 2019

'It's a blight on the game' - Brian O'Driscoll calls for action on 'slide tackles' after Munster incident

Andrew Conway of Munster scores a try which was subsequently disallowed after a review by the TMO during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 Round 4 match between Castres and Munster at Stade Pierre Fabre in Castres, France. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Andrew Conway of Munster scores a try which was subsequently disallowed after a review by the TMO during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 Round 4 match between Castres and Munster at Stade Pierre Fabre in Castres, France. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Cormac Byrne

Former Ireland and Leinster legend Brian O'Driscoll has called on rugby authorities to crack down on the practice of defenders leading with their legs in an attempt to stop players from diving over for tries.

Luke Fitzgerald took aim at Scarlets scrumhalf Gareth Davies for sliding in with his knees as James Lowe scored a try earlier in the season and Munster's Andrew Conway was the victim of a similar incident on Saturday.

Benjamín Urdapilleta slid in knees first on the Munster wing as he attempted to collect the ball after a chip and chase. He would knock the ball on in the process of touching down and the try was ruled out.

Still they got a penalty from the build-up to it, for a late tackle by Marc-Antoine Rallier on Peter O'Mahony, but Carbery pushed it wide.

Reviewing the incident on BT Sport, O'Driscoll said: "There are a couple of things to keep an eye out for, it's a good counterattack from Munster and a tryscoring opportunity.

"It's a little chip and chase from Andrew Conway. It's clear that he does knock it on but look at that for leading knees.

"It's something that needs to be stamped out of the game and I'm disappointed to see that referees are letting that go.

"That tackle on Peter O'Mahony was a yellow card and could so easily have been a red card.

"Conway missed the summer tour in Australia because of a knee drop of a similar kind. It's not football. You can't have a slide tackle.

"He's not trying to go for it with his arms. I don't think it's a penalty try because I don't think you can guarantee that Conway is going to pick that up and score but it's absolutely a yellow card and EPCR and World Rugby need to stamp down on that, it's a blight on the game."

The citing commissioner is likely to take action today with a first-half incident involving a Castres player making contact with Chris Cloete's face.

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