Ill discipline was the order of the day in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship derby between the Stormers and Lions. There were five yellow cards throughout the match, one of which included an ugly hair-pulling incident.
The moment came in the 22nd minute when Lions wing Edwill van der Merwe snagged Seabelo Senatla by the hair in an attempted tackle, ripping some of it out. He then immediately let go and raised his hands.
Grabbing the hair may be legal in other tackle sports, but is highly looked down upon on the rugby field.
Whether Van der Merwe grabbed the hair unintentionally, it’s still considered illegal. Thus, the yellow card.
The Lions went on to win 37-19, despite being down three men at one point.
Stormers coach John Dobson was unhappy with his team’s sloppy discipline.
“We had 15 entries into the 22 where the ball was turned over and that was staggering,” Dobson said.
“There was poor discipline from both teams and that is something we’re disappointed with because we discussed it before the game.
“In the first 10 to 20 minutes, there were a few incidents that were clearly ill-disciplined and it’s not great for rugby when you have these moments.
“I feel our discipline had an effect on the outcome of the game.”
— Vodacom United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial_RSA) December 4, 2021
Former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau infamously did something similar to Springbok Dillyn Leyds four years ago, sparking a fierce reaction.
Full Stormers vs Lions highlights: