World Rugby have confirmed what everyone watching Tuesday’s match between Samoa and Russia already knew: Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu’u deserved red cards for their high tackles on their Russian opposites.
Today, World Rugby released a disciplinary updated revealing that both players have been cited for their respective tackles, which were deemed “acts of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 (dangerous high tackle).”
Winger Ed Fidow has also received a warning for throwing a punch during the match.
Fans were left stewing after referee Romain Poite brandished yellow cards for the two high tackles which occurred within three minutes of each other during the Pool A match.
Unlike other high tackles from the World Cup which were missed in-game, Poite took the time to examine both tackles on the big screen and, along with the TMO, decided that the tackles didn’t warrant red cards.
It was an ironic turn of events, given that World Rugby had only just released a statement lamenting the standard of refereeing in the tournament to date.
“The match officials team recognise that performances over the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2019 were not consistently of the standards set by World Rugby and themselves, but World Rugby is confident of the highest standards of officiating moving forward,” the brief said.
Poitie initially appeared to think the tackles warranted send-offs, but changed his mind after much discussion with the TMO.
Russia, who have never won a match at a World Cup, couldn’t capitalise on the two yellow cards and eventually succumbed 34-9 – but who knows how the match would have ended if Samoa were reduced to 13 for the remainder of the game?
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