Gloucester centre Chris Harris has vented his anger online after receiving a high tackle that went unpunished at the weekend.
The 30-year-old was taken from the field for a head injury assessment in the dying minutes of Gloucester’s loss to Sale Sharks at Kingsholm on Saturday, a match that they were still leading when he went off.
The tackle in question was a hit by Sale’s Dan du Preez to the back of Harris’ head as he was almost grounded. Despite the mitigating factor that the Scotland international’s height had dipped, this has widely been deemed a cardable offence by pundits, referees and fans.
Since then, Harris has questioned the decision making, asking why there was no review in the game, as his departure from the field would have provided an opportunity to look at the tackle.
“Frustrated that I was pulled off for an HIA at a crucial point in the game and time was not taken out to review the incident. If TMO doesn’t think there was contact on the head how is it fair to take me off for an assessment? So inconsistent.”
Most officials have an understandable desire to mitigate reckless player behaviour, but this attitude has to change if rugby wants to keep existing.
There’s already a lawsuit ffs, how are people not getting how bad this looks? pic.twitter.com/NlkFU4JroQ
— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) January 2, 2021
Of course, not all head injuries are a result of foul play, but Harris raised a valid point that an incident that forced a player to leave the field is probably worthy of being reviewed by the officials during play.
In the wider context of the match, a yellow or red card to du Preez could have had a major bearing on the result.
Referee Nigel Owens also weighed in.
No place for that in the game. Not needed, player is already tackled and on the ground. This is the type of action we need out of the game
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) January 2, 2021
Du Preez has since been cited and faces an online disciplinary hearing tomorrow (Wednesday 6 Jan) evening.
A Josh Beaumont try in the 78th minute of the match meant Sale came away with the victory, but Harris was one of the leading performers of the match up until his head injury. The loss also leaves Gloucester at the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership.