None was more controversial than the penalty awarded to Wales for a carry by Samu Kerevi in which he led with the forearm into the throat of defender Rhys Patchell.
Since then there has been a backlash from those that feel the game has gone too far in trying to be safe, and Kerevi himself has even joked that he may need to move to rugby league if carries like his are now illegal.
Poite initially told Hooper: “This is the third penalty, we have had a penalty for high tackle, and offsides. Please make sure your players play in the law”.
"That is terrible tackle technique…"
— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) September 29, 2019
Hooper then asked: “Can we not run into the tackle anymore?”
He also said that it was “terrible tackle technique” from Patchell and that it was a “very good carry” from Kerevi.
“That’s just terrible tackle technique and you can’t carry the ball if that’s going to be the ruling.”
“We can’t run into tackles because we’ll get pulled up all day.”
Poite responds: “This is my call.
“You can’t touch the throat of the opponent.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 29, 2019
In a RWC that has already been defined by high tackles, this recent incident surrounding Kerevi has further muddied the waters.
The Wallabies centre did lead with his forearm and it did end up in Patchell’s throat, but Hooper is right in calling out his tackle technique.
The fly-half was high going into the tackle, and actually came perilously close to being punished himself.
Moreover, leading with an arm is commonplace in rugby, and calling attention to this incident will only lead to outrage down the line if someone is not punished for a similar offence.
Michael Hooper is a lucky boy. No arms there. pic.twitter.com/Wtc6PkjAkZ
— Alex Terrell (@alxterrell) September 29, 2019
This incident was dangerous, and it is easy to see why the officials deemed it to be a penalty, but it is equally as easy to see Hooper and Cheika’s perspective as they felt a good carry was penalised.
Anthony Watson looks ahead to Argentina on Saturday and discusses the competition for places on the wing.
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