Axel Müller has found himself in some hot water after a highly illegal hit in Brive’s Challenge Cup loss to Saracens.
The Brive side put up a spirited display against the former European champions, but were dismantled in the end by the almost full strength away side.
Owen Farrell was back in the starting line up after a turbulent time with injuries. He also had to miss the Gallagher Premiership match vs Sale last week due to the return to play protocols. His time away did not appear to have affected his game negatively however. He was back to his scintillating best, opening up defences all over the park, he picked up 15 personal points and the player of the match award.
It wasn’t all just sunshine, rainbows and silky play in this match up, however.
Towards the end of the game, Jamie George was put through with a lovely timed two on one pass by the sevens speedster Ben Harris. Unfortunately for Harris this wasn’t the end of the play for him, as he was then hit by an almighty shoulder from Müller.
This is arguably one of the most clear cut red cards we’ve seen in recent times, with Müller actively jumping shoulder first into the ‘tackle’.
Questions over a red card in Galway, but there’s absolutely no doubt about this decision.
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 8, 2022
Twitter users were outraged:
“Definition of a cheap shot. No place for it in the game.”
“Horrible, horrible hit. I’d do him for the dangerous hit, unsportsmanlike behaviour and for bringing the game into disrepute. And I’d add in anything else I could find too. No place for that”
While others made light of the fact that well known hard hitter Owen Farrell was also playing in the game:
“Müller is just demonstrating what he’s learned from watching Farrell’s technique over the years.”
What is for sure is that with the current focus on ensuring players’ safety, this type of tackle has no place in the modern game.