'I'm sorry, I can't understand rugby' - Mortlock, SBW voice red frustration
Former Wallaby captain Sterling Mortlock and retired All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams have hit out at the inconsistency of rugby union refereeing following a red card for Marika Koroibete just minutes into the series deciding Test match between Australia and France.
The French No.8 made the most of the collision by holding his face and rolling around on the floor for the benefit of the officials and referee Ben O’Keeffe duly sent off the winger with a straight red.
Eighty cap Wallaby centre Mortlock was incensed at the decision, or at least the fact that a minute later an apparent elbow to Australia scrumhalf Tate McDermott’s chops went unpunished and didn’t even receive a TMO review.
“I’m sorry but I can’t understand rugby at the moment. Red card for Koribote yet one minute later this isn’t even looked at… Aren’t these laws meant to prevent concussion?’
I'm.sorry but I can't understand Rugby ATM. #AUSvFRA @wallabies @france_rugby red card for Korebote yet 1 minute later this isn't even looked at……arent these laws meant to prevent concussion?? pic.twitter.com/ONpMshD9mP
— Stirling Mortlock (@snorkymortlock) July 17, 2021
He wasn’t the only one, with Sonny Bill Williams chiming in on Channel Nine’s coverage. Williams said ‘Very disappointing that the ref’s decision can determine the outcome of the game. We need to protect player safety, but we need to protect the game too.
“It doesn’t make sense to me.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 17, 2021
RugbyPass’s Tom Vinicombe posted: “Whether or not you think that should have been a red card (it shouldn’t), we can all agree that the French player performed one of the biggest Hollywoods we’ve seen in rugby in a long time, right?”
Whether or not you think that should have been a red card (it shouldn't), we can all agree that the French player performed one of the biggest Hollywoods we've seen in rugby in a long time, right? #AUSvFRA
— Tom Vinicombe (@TomVinicombe) July 17, 2021
Aussie journalist Ben Kimber noted that red hadn’t, in fact, ruined the game: “If anyone you know suggested they would turn off after the red card, they’re missing a fantastic game.”
— Ben Kimber (@benkimber) July 17, 2021
“Reckon I’m done with tweeting tonight. Because that just ruined a sell out crowd. Hundreds and thousands of people watching on the box. Series ruined,” Tweeted Rugby Report Card. “Game being killed in this country.”
Reckon I’m done with tweeting tonight. Because that just ruined a sell out crowd. Hundreds and thousands of people watching on the box. Series ruined. Game being killed in this country. #AUSvFRA
— Rugby Report Card (@rugby_podcast) July 17, 2021
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now