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'Merited a red card': Romain Poite says South Africa star escaped sending off

By Josh Raisey
Antoine Dupont of France in action during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Quarter Final match between France and South Africa at Stade de France on October 15, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by RvS.Media/Sylvie Failletaz/Getty Images)

A number of current and ex referees have had their say about the events of the quarter-final clash between France and South Africa last weekend, including the match referee himself Ben O’Keeffe.


Former referee turned Toulon coach Romain Poite is the latest person to have their say about some of the controversial moments at the Stade de France on Sunday, and believes South Africa flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit should have been red carded in the first-half.

The incident came on 17 minutes in South Africa’s 22. Following a carry from prop Frans Malherbe, France centre Jonathan Danty attempted a jackal. The Frenchman was cleared out by Bongi Mbonambi and subsequently penalised by O’Keeffe for playing the ball off his feet. However, just after being driven backwards by the Springboks hooker, he received a blow to the face from du Toit in what appeared to be head-on-head contact.

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Jacques Nienaber and Siya Kolisi preview the World Cup semifinal – South Africa versus England

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Jacques Nienaber and Siya Kolisi preview the World Cup semifinal – South Africa versus England

Danty stayed on one knee and was immediately treated by the medic, but nothing came of this incident. But Poite, speaking to Midi Olympique this week, believes this should have resulted in a red card for the Springbok.

“Danty is rightly penalised for playing the ball on the ground without being on his feet and is on the ground without having possession of the ball,” the Frenchman said.

“The South African No7 (Du Toit), who wants to clean very low, comes into direct contact with Danty’s head with his head, without really controlling his posture. Which, in the eyes of the rules, could (should!) have largely merited a red card…”

Bizarrely, this was similar to the red card du Toit received last year against France in Marseille, where Danty was the recipient of head-on-head contact again. On that occasion France came away 30-26 winners, although it was the reigning world champions who came out on top this time, winning 29-28.




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B.J. Spratt 275 days ago

Bye Bye England. . .SA bench changed game. SA by a try.

4 more years.

Red and White Dynamight 275 days ago

If this had happened to Sth Africa, The Waterboy would have crashed the iCloud with video nasties and their fans would have been apoplectic with rage. Instead its “get over it, France”. Bok fans and their Boss Daddy are biggest whingers in rugby.

corlina 275 days ago

Rassie Erasmus said the other day that France can still make it to the world cup final.
All they need to do is to buy tickets for the show piece.
Making death threads to the World Champions , South Africa,is no good France .So happy to hear the French police 🚨 are investigating these potential murderers.

corlina 275 days ago

The Southern hemisphere rugby players are much more attractive then their Northern hemisphere peers.
I feel I can faint by just looking at a kiwi, puma or Bok .Really.
The Northern hemisphere will never win the world cup again because they don't know how to play rugby and they don't know what it takes to progress to the final.

corlina 275 days ago

Oh my gosh.
France , please stop 🛑 nagging about your loss against South Africa.
You deserved to lose and don't feel bad about it .You lost against the best team in the entire world. South Africa will win their fourth world cup and there is nothing we can do about it accept for being good losers .

etienne 275 days ago

This is quite hilarious. All of the sudden no one is talking about the Eben apparent knock on and all the other discretion’s because they got proved wrong. So, they had to move on and find something else to bitch about. France lost, with home ground advantage. It was theirs for the taking and they failed.

Giannis 276 days ago

From the late comments anyone can see the huge discrepancy between northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere refereeing.
In the south, as long as the head is not rolling on the grass, all is correct. In the north if you breath a bit closely to the eyes then it is hanging at least and torture added for rougher cases. Surprisingly, southern fans and players have problems with northern referees decisions and northern fans have problems with southern so called referees. That’s the world as it is…

Jon 276 days ago

I feel for France, losing a game like that in their own World Cup, but they really shouldn’t be looking for excuses like that, if that’s what made his comments come about.

It was highlighted in a YT video I saw, the footage clearly shows PSDT coming in to grab the ball with both hands before the French guy pulls the ball back to his own body, forcing PSDT to dip even lower to get on the ball which is not right by the head of the guy on the ground. There’s no one to blame for the resulting head contact but the player himself.

Jimmy 276 days ago

Poite the twat!

CT 276 days ago

Nigel Owen said it was good 👍

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