The cards keep coming in this year’s World Cup with Samoa and Ireland both adding to the tallies in their fixture on Saturday with Samoan hooker Seilala Lam yellow-carded and Irish midfielder Bundee Aki red-carded.
The heavily scrutinised tackle area has become the hottest talking point, outside of Typhoon Hagibis, and contention continues for confused spectators after Samoa hooker Seilala Lam was yellow-carded for a textbook tackle on Jacob Stockdale after contact with the head was spotted.
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What made this incident such a debated topic is Lam has a solid case to argue that he did nothing wrong as Stockdale lowered his upper body into the contact looking to forcefully bump the defender off. With Stockdale’s leading knee and dropped forearm, Lam’s target for a safe tackle was extremely limited.
Fans were left confused as Lam ‘couldn’t go any lower or he would have been underground’ calling the yellow card ‘a joke’ that is turning the sport into a farce.
Rugby is turning into a farce of a sport. How was that Samoan forward supposed to get any lower to make the tackle. Stockdale falling into him. The Samoan would have had to be on his knees to make a legal tackle ? @WorldRugby you are a joke. #IREvSAM
— James Dolan (@JamesDo11574407) October 12, 2019
If Seilala Lam had been any lower going into that tackle he'd have been underground.
— Burgh Watch (@bigparahandy) October 12, 2019
I have no idea how Seilala Lam can go any lower into that challenge, yet he still picks up a yellow.
Saw how frustrated the Manu guys have been after SCO and JAP games – this one likely to be no different.
— Dewi Preece (@DewiPreece1) October 12, 2019
Seilala Lam getting a yellow is a joke. The tackler had both feet planted and was bent at almost 90 degrees at the hip. Stockdale had dropped so far into it and was reminiscent of Kerevi’s carry that saw him sent off!! Clear this up quickly @WorldRugby
— Dan Matthews (@_danmatthews) October 12, 2019
What on earth is Seilala Lam supposed to do there? Stockdale nearly on his knees, he’s gone low and tried to put in a legal tackle. How long before ball carriers are deliberately ducking before contact to try and coax a penalty? #RWC2019 #IREvSAM
— Charles Richardson (@CharlieRicho1) October 12, 2019
— Thomas Clark (@ClarkyT68) October 13, 2019
The ref explaining yellow card for Samoa in #IREvSAM shows the problem at #RWC2019 World Cup. If the ball carrier deemed to have dropped, why card at all? If defender not at fault, may as well go full tag rugby rather than unfairly penalize / ruin games.
— Barbosa de Bossa (@FootOfDavros) October 12, 2019
#IrishRugby 7-0 #SamoaRugby 6mins Seilala Lam absolutely correctly comes in really low to tackle Jacob Stockdale; Stockdale drops his knee and of course Lam is going to hit him on the chin; Seilala L is sent to the bin for 10 minutes #RWC2019 #IREvSAM #Rugby
— RugbyUnplugged.com (@RugbyUnplugged) October 12, 2019
I think Seilala Lam’s yellow card against Ireland is the worst of all of these decisions on high tackles so far in the tournament. Something has to give here. All teams are affected.
— The Pits (@JohnPitsonis) October 12, 2019
Samoa’s World Cup campaign has been blighted by yellow cards, picking up seven in four matches that left them playing every match with 14-men for extended periods.
Despite being one of the most penalised teams at the World Cup, the side is throwing their support around Ireland’s centre Bundee Aki who was red-carded in the match for a high shot following a loose ball competition.
“Again, as we’ve seen if there is any contact with the head, people have been penalised. We lost a couple of players but I hope no further sanction comes to him because I hope he can go further in this tournament and play,” head coach Steve Jackson said following the game.
“We’ll do everything we possibly can from a Samoan perspective to make sure that he gets on that field next week.”
Samoa will be left to review their campaign in search of bigger and better things next time. Jackson hopes his side’s efforts will inspire the next generation of Samoans to represent the blue and red.
“We just have to make sure players want to play for Samoa. Guys came over here and put the jersey before a piece of paper (club contract).
“We have to change a lot of minds and persuade players this is the route to go down, especially the people in European clubs. I don’t have to talk about eligibility and availability but hopefully, some common sense in the next four years will change a few things.
“But we also have to look in our own backyard and at our development and ensure we capture them to play for us.”
“To be honest, I just want to just leave a legacy, to really push the kids that are coming through to really stick with the country they are passionate about.
“If it is Samoa or whatever country it is, just go with it because that’s what I did.
“I was very happy to pick Samoa because of the heritage and my upbringing.”
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