Personally I think it was a red card. Having been on the receiving end of similar spear tackle I know for a fact it's not so much the pain it inflicts but the risks and fear it produces. I remember at the moment of impact you do straight away fear something terrible has happened. To say like some people have suggested that as there was no injury in this type of tackle is nonsense. If someone in football/soccer lunged in two footed, late and high up on the leg and breaks the players leg then it doesn't make it less serious or less dangerous than if he'd done the same except missed. I commend the ref for finally having the courage to take a stand and take the right action against what is a very serious offence. It's not like Rolland hasn't been consistent either, he sent off Fritz (I think) for something similar in the Heineken cup earlier this year so he's being consistent and he is following the law to the letter which is correct. You can't say just because it's a semi final he should have been let off as the rules are the rules, and they apply from under 14's rugby on a Saturday morning right up to the top level of international rugby.
When we look at precedent by the IRB (not that they ever take heed of it themselves) but in 2008 Neil Best was banned for 18 weeks for what was described by the committee as 'accidental but reckless' contact with the eyes, not specifically an eye 'gouge'. »