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Tuesday Dec 4, 2018

Alex Allan red card causes yet more confusion over new tackle laws

Alex Allan red card causes yet more confusion over new tackle laws

Glasgow Warriors pulled off one of the results of the season by beating the Scarlets 29-20 at Scotstoun, despite losing prop Alex Allan to a red card early in the game.

The main subject of controversy in the past year, rulings on head contact have proved divisive among fans and players alike. Allan was the latest to feel the brunt of harsher sanctions.

The incident occurred just 17 minutes into the game when Allan’s shoulder came into contact with the head of Scarlets second-row Jake Ball.

It looked fairly innocuous at full speed, but when TMO Charles Samson reviewed it, the letter of the law ruled that Allan’s challenge had been illegal. Referee Frank Murphy was therefore left with no other option but to brandish a red card.

What happened thereafter was nothing short of a miracle for the Warriors. Unperturbed by going down to 14-men, they scored just before the half-hour mark through fly-half Brandon Thomson, who also kicked five penalties.

Glasgow then took control of the game at the start of the second period when Nick Grigg touched down following a kick through from full back Ruairidh Jackson, which Thomson also converted to take the Warriors 20-3 ahead.

The Scarlets fought back to make a contest of the game in the final quarter through scores from Jonathan Davies, Steff Evans and Clayton Blommetjies, but it was all too little, too late.

There was a similar incident to Allan’s in the second half as Scarlets replacement Tom Phillips clipped Tim Swinson’s head, but Murphy and the TMO deemed the contact to have started on Swinson’s shoulder before riding up to the head.


  • jockmcg
    9:59 AM 07/12/2018

    Absolutely no consistency in the officiating here.  Red card was poor call but similar to Cipriani's recent sending off and therefore understandable.  But when you compare both of them to Owen Farrell's two hits in the AI's it is even more inexplicable that the wasn't penalised.  Frank then chalked a Glasgow try off for a forward pass on review but then didn't bother to review the Scarlets last try where Rhys Patchell's scoring pass is forward (watch the hands).  A good game wit exciting flowing rugby but there needs to be far more consistency in the officiating  

  • pickay
    9:51 AM 05/12/2018
    Top Comment

    I think the only thing left to do for World Rugby is to take the next step on their current path regarding tackle laws and just make "any contact between two players" a red card offence. That would a) reduce the confusion and b) drastically reduce the injury count, which seems to be the only parameter anyway.

  • alasdairduncan3
    10:09 PM 04/12/2018

    Fair enough that he saw red for that. No consistency in the refereeing though, as a Scarlets player only saw yellow for a more severe shoulder to the head later in the game.


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Alex Allan red card causes yet more confusion over new tackle laws | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos