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I think this 'reasonable commentary' on the red car violates the character limit on the comment posts on this site but it's worth a read.
For the record I still think the red was a tad too harsh.
5 Years, 5 Months ago
I think the decision was a bit on the harsh side but not an easy call for the ref to make. We need to step out of the moment and look at it objectively. Yes, if you're a Welsh fan you understandably feel gutted, robbed, etc, but if I were a French supporter I'd probably have been baying for blood after that tackle. I truly believe Warburton when he says that he had no malicious intent. But look at it from the ref's perspective. He sees a guy upend an opposing player and sees that player go to ground landing on his head-neck area. Say what you like about it not being malicious but it was certainly careless. A few more degrees rotation on Clerc and he could have been seriously injured. The law states what the ref is supposed to do in this instance and in his opinion, there and then, the red card was warranted.
People who say Clerc was hamming it up are probably right (though I doubt any player in his position would have done any different) but look at that video again, after Clerc hits the ground Warburton's left hand does come in contact with Clerc's face, from one angle it looks like he's pushing it into the ground just seconds after Clerc lands awkwardly. I'd have been clutching my face after that too.
In retrospect red was almost definitely too harsh, yellow would have been a better call. But ref's can't work off players protesting "Oh, I didn't mean too, Ref" especially given how dangerous these tackles can be. I think that he felt his hands were tied in this case. The problem with rugby is there's too much inconsistency with the rule interpretation esp. given how other tacklers got away with similar tackles.
I am gutted for Wales. To defend for over 60 mins against France and not concede a try and to get sooooo close. It's heartbreaking. And as for France, my god, never has a team offered so little and still made it to a world cup final! The only solace for Wales is that Oz/NZ are gonna carve them up next week. Scant consolation that'll be, though.
5 Years, 5 Months ago