Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete was sent off five minutes after the start of the game for a hit on France captain Anthony Jelonch.
Opinions from fans and experts were widely divided on whether the challenge deserved such harsh punishment, with many supporters suggesting that rugby’s crackdown on high tackles had gone too far.
But referee Ben O’Keefe was argued for following the letter of the law after identifying that a tackle from a restart was dangerous and involved head-to-head contact.
However, the reaction from Jelonch, who held his face and threw himself dramatically to the ground afterward, drew much criticism.
Former Australian player Stirling Mortlock was furious at the inconsistency of officials a minute later after an apparent nudge to the face of Australian scrum-half Tate McDermott went unpunished.
“I’m sorry but I don’t understand rugby at the moment. Red card for Koribote but a minute later it is not even considered… Aren’t these laws meant to prevent concussions? “, did he declare.
Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams, working as an expert on the game, added: “It is very disappointing that the referee’s decision can determine the outcome of the game. We need to protect the safety of players, but we also need to protect the game.
“It doesn’t make sense to me. “
New Zealand great Andrew Mehrtens called the red card an “absolute parody” in Channel Nine comments while Tim Horan thought Jelonch should have excused Koroibete by ducking his head.
“I thought he got carried away. I thought it was a good tackle, a good shot, ”said the former Wallabies center.
Should it have been a red card, yes or no? Let us know in the comments below
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie made a direct observation about Jelonch after the game, saying: “Our guys were timed in the head but got up and kept going. I think that’s the difference. “
Despite playing with 14 men for 75 minutes, Australia managed to score an impressive victory, winning the game 33-30 and the series 2-1.
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