Fans have questioned the controversial decision not to penalise Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood for a dangerous clear out on Leinster’s Josh Van Der Flier on Saturday.
Wood made direct contact with Van Der Flier’s head at a ruck, leaving the Leinster flanker rolling round on the ground in pain during the final 10 minutes of the Champions Cup clash in Dublin.
How do I explain to my grandchildren that this wasn’t a red card for Tom Wood? 😳 pic.twitter.com/NwQ73Zad1u
— james___flynn (@jamesfl68585245) December 19, 2020
Following advice from the TMO, referee Pierre Brousset consulted a monitor on the side of the pitch at RDS Arena and decided there was no foul play at the breakdown, however fans and pundits have disagreed with the decision.
Leinster won the game 35-19 leaving them top of Pool A in the competition and some of the reaction to Wood’s challenge is below:
Is the Brian O’Driscoll currently defending Tom Wood’s right to smash Van Der Flier in the head at the ruck on BT Sport the same BOD who spoke three days ago about the duty of ex-players and pundits to change the way they talk about these incidents given the CTE lawsuit?
— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) December 19, 2020
The refereeing in the #LEINvNOR game has been inconsistent at best! Tom Wood should have been sent off and then the Leinster player should have been sin binned for a late and high tackle just now! @btsportrugby
— JeddOwen (@JeddOwen) December 19, 2020
— The Loose Head (@TheLooseH) December 19, 2020
@jamieheaslip we’re do you suggest tom wood hits the defender at that Ruck then. Generally intrigued… no foul play from the referee so just wondered 👍🏻
— Tom (@tomabarnard) December 19, 2020
Tom Wood’s mate Jim Hamilton says it should’ve been red. Lots of fairly conflicting and confusing opinions from ex-players on the commentary team 🤔
— Graham McGoun (@gmcgoun) December 19, 2020
Same. There’s clear contact from Tom Wood’s shoulder to Josh van der Flier’s head.
— Ross Barnett (@rbarnett08) December 19, 2020
Think Tom Wood is lucky there, but I think his angle of entry into the ruck was what caused the problem. If he had entered from the hind most foot I think he has a better chance of finding a lower contact point #LEIvNOR
— Rhys Knott (@buck_mitchell) December 19, 2020
Quinny: “Not alot Tom Wood can do”
Em what about not cleaning out an exposed player because his team mates have f*cked up and he’s late in to the ruck#LEIvNOR
— Dame Dot Cottoncandy, Duchess of Walford 🦄🦄 (@comagirlx) December 19, 2020
@CharlieFelix …and how is Tom Wood still on the field? Surely the debate is Yellow or Red – not whether it’s a legitimate ‘rugby incident’?
— Simon (@AncientKeeper) December 19, 2020
Commentary and ref’s call completely wrong there. “Nowhere for Tom Wood’s shoulder to go”. How about he doesnt make shoulder contact with the player’s head? Are we not in the midst of a brain damage in rugby scandal? #LeinsterRugby #northampton #ChampionsCup
— T.P. Smith (@architectom89) December 19, 2020
This Tom Wood clear out is going to be a talking point, looked like a red but can he do anything else ?? #LEIvNOR
— Telf’s Rugby (@RugbyTelf) December 19, 2020