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Rob Kearney's late hit on Tom Curry still has fans bemused that it went unpunished

By Josh Raisey
Tom Curry

A common theme in international rugby over the past month has been the number of dangerous and illegal challenges that are discussed in the wake of the matches. 


England’s 57-15 win over Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday was no different, with a few players deemed lucky to avoid being cited. 

One particular incident in the match was Rob Kearney’s late clothes-line of Tom Curry in the build-up to Elliot Daly’s try. 

The flanker gave the final pass to Daly before being cleaned out by Ireland’s full-back, leaving many England fans on Twitter still questioning how it was not picked up. 

As England scored a try immediately after, Kearney’s hit may have slipped under the radar in the furore of the score. But that does not seem to be an excuse for the England fans who feel that this was dangerous play from the Leinster man. 

Irish fans have responded by highlighting Manu Tuilagi’s hit on Jordan Larmour in the second-half, although that hit is far more debatable as to whether it was legal or not. A debate has subsequently ensued comparing the two hits, but England fans feel Kearney’s was far worse. 

Unlike these two incidents, George Kruis was punished in the final stages of the game for a late hit on Jack Carty, something that he immediately knew was wrong. 


But at a time where almost every tackle is scrutinised at great depth, England fans feel somewhat aggrieved that Kearney was neither punished during or after the match. 

Had the scoreline been closer, this tackle may have caused even more outrage, as Dan Biggar’s tackle on Maro Itoje did the week before, but missing incidents like these may concern some fans with the World Cup approaching. This is what has been said: 


As mentioned, the high shot from Biggar on Itoje last week proved to be a topic for debate, as did Paul Gabrillagues’ wreckless clear out at a ruck for France against Scotland, something that he was banned for. 

The officials cannot always be blamed for missing incidents like these, but there has been a disconcerting number missed over the last couple of weeks despite World Rugby’s determination to make rugby safer.

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Morne 30 minutes ago
Thanks but no thanks, the All Blacks do not need to copy the Boks

Some further observations: Most Rugby lovers I know agree that the AB’s have been the gold standard for as long as anyone can remember - very few people disagree. The odd time that any other team has some sort of ascendency - there are always those (albeit the minority) NZ supporters that need to remind us of the AB’s glorious gold standard that anyone winning them is only down to a mixture of pure luck or some or other sinister reason or bias from match officials (or indeed the Universe). For reasons mentioned above, any other team with some ascendency over the AB’s (even if it is the 1st time in 100 years) may not receive a pat on the back and a well-done - as they only did so out of pure luck. In my opinion, if the Boks were in the same realm as the AB’s SF opponents - they would have been smashed also - whether with 14 or 13 or 12 players. But remember they were just “lucky”. As a Bok supporter, I will say this team has done our proud - despite losing some games along the way. Like the AB’s, the games the boks lose are 9/10 times one score games - this is a long way from hidings like 57 - 0…And in that we must be proud. Most of these type of articles - especially those focusing on the RWC final rather conveniently leave out any mention of Pieter Steph du Toit, or even Eben Etzebeth who won all their collusions all day long. So to those very very few bad loser AB supporters out there (definitely the minority) - I’ll say what you want to hear - the AB’s are without any doubt the best Rugby brand ever. They have consistently achieved what all other teams can only dream of. And no doubt they will scale those heights again. Now what about allowing others the odd ray of sunlight that comes our way?

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