Brumbies coach McKellar calls for orange card

Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 11:21 PM
Justin Chadwick - AAP
by Justin Chadwick - AAP
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar and stand-in skipper Ryan Lonergan spoke after their match against the Force

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has called for the introduction of an orange card following a "ridiculous" red card for Tom Banks in the one-point win over the Western Force.

Banks was given a red card in the 29th minute of Friday's match for an accidental clash of heads with Toni Pulu as the Force flyer attempted to cross over for a try.

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Replays appeared to show Pulu deviated ever so slightly, possibly contributing to the head clash. Banks came off second best, with the Wallabies back suffering a facial fracture that could keep him out for an extended period.

The 27-year-old was taken to hospital and is awaiting the results of scans.

Super Rugby Pacific implements the experimental 20-minute red card rule, meaning teams can replace a player who has been sent off after 20 minutes.

Under old rules, the team would be down a player for the rest of the match.

McKellar believes red cards should be reserved for more serious offences and that players shouldn't be replaced.

Instead, he believes an orange card should be the new 20-minute penalty, with yellow cards to remain at 10 minutes.

World Rugby has flirted with the idea of an orange card in recent years.

"I'd have an orange card, a 20-minute orange card," McKellar said.

"And red card stays for deliberate foul play. You know, punching, gouging, whatever it may be."

Even if that system was in place, McKellar doesn't believe Banks should have been penalised given the clash of heads was clearly accidental. 

"Tom Banks doesn't have a dirty bone in his body," McKellar said.

"Deliberate foul play - throw red cards at them all the time. But for accidents, for god's sake, we're going to have accidents every week.

"Banksy is sitting in hospital now with a facial fracture. I don't think he deliberately went in to do that. I think it's ridiculous.

"He's five metres away from his line potentially trying to stop the ball. There's a head-on-head collision. Toni changed direction. It's crazy."

The Force scored 28 points while the Brumbies were down to 14 men. But a hat-trick of tries to winger Andy Muirhead was enough to get the Brumbies over the line.

It's the second heartbreaking loss the Force have suffered at the hands of the Brumbies this season.

In round one, the Brumbies sneaked over the line courtesy of a 79th-minute try to Lachie Lonergan.

Force coach Tim Sampson said those results shows his team aren't far off the top sides.

"It's twice now that we've lost to the team that's undefeated by a small margin," Sampson said.

"I think that shows our potential as well. It just proves that when we're on, we're there. We just need consistency."

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