There was a study being reported on in the Times in the UK yesterday which was analysing spinal injuries in union and league players. The study found little difference in the prevalence between spinal/neck injuries in professional union and league players, suggesting one of two things to me: »
There was a bit of a discussion on that during coverage of the match. Apparently part of the IRB edict about tackles like this released after the Payne incident is similar to how refs are supposed to deal with tip tackles- if the player tackled in the air hits head or shoulders first (as Goode did) then it should be a red; if the player does not go beyond the horizontal, penalty or yellow depending on other issues (as for Williams). This may be post factum justification by the IRB, but that is what was said.
The Pau 19 who got red carded was a little unlucky I thought. Yes he could be said to have escalated the incident by pulling a rochelle player away, but this was after the rochelle player had hit a prone team mate of his on the floor, and after that he seemed more to be trying to defend himself against the attacking rochelle players, backing away while they tried to hit him. Other Pau players seemed to do more. Maybe he seemed like the instigator.