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'How do you get a yellow card for a head-high tackle with an open try line?'

By Sam Smith
(Source/Premier Sports)

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The Bulls went down 19-17 in a tight contest in Cape Town against the Stormers, but a decision to issue a yellow card but not a try by referee Frank Murphy has created controversy.


Bulls fullback Kurt Lee Arendse raced away down the left hand touchline after fielded a kick only to be hit with a high coat hanger tackle by the only man in coverage, Stormers flanker Hacjivah Dayimani.

Since Arendse had been returning a kick, the Stormers did not have an organised backfield with Dayimani the only player between the try line. The Bulls then scored on the next phase.

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Bulls head coach Jake White
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Bulls head coach Jake White

Murphy allowed the try to stand initially with no yellow card on the tackler, but the high shot forced Arendse to knock the ball on in the lead up which was picked up by TMO Marius Jonker.

The referee then changed his decision on the yellow card, sending Dayimani to the bin for ‘cynical play’ but told Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee that the tackled occurred too far out for a penalty try to be awarded.

At first the tackle was not foul play when the try stood, but then when a knock-on was found and the try was ruled out, it became cynical play.


Both sides were left to feel aggrieved by the decision, which flip flopped after a long deliberation.

Bulls head coach Jake White was puzzled with the outcome the officials reached but wouldn’t ‘throw his toys’ over the call.

“How do you get a yellow card for a head-high tackle with an open try line?” White asked after the game.


“From there, you worry about the knock-on. Of course, he knocked it on. When you whack a guy around the neck, of course, he’ll knock it on.

“We scored anyway and he got a yellow card. When you rewind the game, you’d pick up certain things and hope that a red card was given.

“I’ve gotten older and wiser the more I’ve coached, so I won’t be throwing my toys. We’re still in the tournament, which is alive and kicking.

“There’s a lot of rugby to be played.”


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