World Rugby clarifies red card decision

Thu, Jun 21, 2018, 2:05 AM
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Angus Gardner made the call he could at the time in Wellington. Photo: Getty Images
Angus Gardner made the call he could at the time in Wellington. Photo: Getty Images

World Rugby has moved to clarify the process around red cards, after Benjamin Fall's red card was rescinded this week.

France fullback Fall was red-carded in the 12th minute of their 26-13 loss to New Zealand, a pivotal moment in the clash.

An independent World Rugby judicial committee rescinded the card on Tuesday, but were quick to defend referee Angus Gardner, who made the decision to send Fall off.

World Rugby released a statement on Thursday morning (AEST), clarifying the decision to cancel the card, saying Gardner and the TMO didn't have access to the same camera angles that the committee had.

The committee had a camera view that showed Fall's line was disrupted by New Zealand centre Anton Lienert-Brown on his way to contest a high ball against All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett, who was concussed and will miss this weekend's third Test.

"In respect of the red card issued to Benjamin Fall during the New Zealand versus France match on June 16, the match official team followed the guideline correctly and made a decision based on the available camera angles," the statement read. 

"Only during the subsequent review by an independent judicial panel, when additional camera angles were made available, was it determined that Benjamin Fall was knocked off balance immediately prior to the challenge and therefore the red card was dismissed."

The decision, and the conversations in the days following, has sparked a discussion around the possibility of introducing a reports system for rugby, rather than just being able to offer up cards.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen tabled the idea and Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said he was open to a trial of reports being introduced.

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