England head coach Eddie Jones has labelled the decision to send Scott Barrett off for what was deemed to be a dangerous tackle during the All Blacks’ record defeat to the Wallabies over the weekend as “ridiculous”.
French referee Jerome Garces handed the 25-year-old second rower a red card on the cusp of halftime during his side’s 47-26 loss at Optus Stadium in Perth for a no-arm tackle on Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper.
Barrett’s shoulder connected with Hooper’s head as the Australian captain was lowered to the ground, and was subsequently sent from the field, becoming just the fourth All Black ever to do so.
His dismissal hurt the All Blacks badly, as they conceded 34 points in his absence with a depleted forward pack, leaving Steve Hansen’s side in a must-win situation ahead of their Bledisloe Cup re-match at Eden Park in Auckland this weekend.
Barrett faced a judicial hearing on Sunday night, and could be banned for up to six weeks, but a verdict is yet to be announced.
According to the Independent, there were two similar tackles during England’s 33-19 World Cup warm-up win over Wales at Twickenham on Sunday, with both Welsh halfback Aled Davies and No 8 Ross Moriarty escaping yellow or red cards for separate tackles on English duo George Ford and Piers Francis.
In both instances, referee Mathieu Raynal only penalised Davies and Moriaty.
“I thought there was an issue with the referee,” said Jones, referring to the Wallabies v All Blacks test.
“We saw a red card yesterday which affected the game. We need to get some consistency into that area of the game. In the World Cup, if you lose a player through a red card as New Zealand did yesterday, it makes the game very difficult.”
“I thought we saw two instances today where that could have happened. I urge World Rugby – although I don’t think they do anything at great pace do they – to get some consistency in that area because otherwise we will have games being destroyed by an inconsistent official making a decision on a law that’s not clear.”
Jones said common sense must be applied in situations similar to that of Barrett’s.
“I thought it was ridiculous. A bloke gets tackled, [Barrett] goes to be second man in and his shoulder hits his [Hooper’s] head and he gets a red card. We can’t have that in the game,” he said.
“There has to be some common sense applied but maybe common sense was applied today really well. But what I’m saying is that we need to have some consistency and common sense. I think it’s really important for the game.”
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