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'Absolutely sickening' - Jaco Peyper in dock after yellow for 'horrific' collision

By Ian Cameron
Referee Jaco Peyper Credit: Premier Sports

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A decision that saw Ulster winger Craig Gilroy shown a yellow card for a ‘horrific collision’ with Scarlet winger Tom Rogers’ face has left Scarlets fans furious.

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Ulster bagged a 27-15 bonus-point win over Scarlets in Belfast on Friday night, but many felt the home side should have been playing with 14-men following the ugly incident.

Gilroy was carded by referee Jaco Peyper in the 27th minute for the high hit on Rogers, whose neck snapped back violently, even if he was losing height coming into the tackle.

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Many felt it should have been a red, some even describing the decision by the world-class Test referee as ‘scandalous’.

“That is the tackle that I think everyone is trying to get away from,” said Tom Shanklin on Premier Sports, who said it definitely should have been a red card, largely due to Gilroy’s arm being down by his side, which Shanklin wasn’t a genuine attempt at the wrap.

“Gilroy’s not even looking where he is going. He’s led with the shoulder, the arm is down. He’s very lucky to get a yellow card as that’s quite a bad tackle. It definitely should have been a red card.”

Former Ireland fullback Rob Kearney agreed, saying it should have been red from the sheer force of the collision.

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“There’s so much force to the head there. You see the whiplash, the impact. If we’re talking about trying to make the  game safer, protecting the opposition player.”

To make matters worse for Scarlets fans, Rogers failed to return after halftime, while Gilroy went on to score a bonus point try to secure the result for Ulster.

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Rugby journalist Mike Pearce wrote on Twitter: “Jaco Peyper’s explanation of this being a yellow card was unbelievable an absolutely sickening incident.”

Wales Online reporter Simon Thomas wrote: “For me, the big issue to come out of tonight is there is so much talk about protecting the head and player welfare, then you have one of the world’s leading referees awarding just a yellow for a sickening collision like that. Best wishes to Tom Rogers.”

One irate watcher wrote: “Outrageous! Jaco Peyper should have a civil lawsuit launched against him for gross negligence.”

Peyper is set to referee the Ireland versus Wales Guinness Six Nations game in Dublin next weekend.

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