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Video evidence provided of red card double standard in Dublin

By Ian Cameron
Hame Faiva /PA

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An Italian rugby account on Twitter has drawn people’s attention to an apparent double standard in refereeing in the wake of Italy’s loss to Ireland in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.


Italy replacement Hame Faiva’s red card for a obvious high tackle on Irish hooker Dan Sheehan saw the hooker given his marching orders after just 20 minutes.

With Italy already having lost fellow hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi, it created chaos for the Azzurri.

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As Italy still had to put eight men in each scrum, even though they didn’t have to contest, they had only five backs to defend Ireland’s seven at each setpiece. The enormous advantage enabled Ireland to wrap up the bonus point by halftime.

Yet it was a tackle by Ireland secondrow Ryan Baird after Faiva’s red card which has upset many Italians, some who feel the Six Nations strugglers often end up on the wrong end of such calls.

Italian Rugby Player Abroad Tweeted: “I just keep wondering why the TMO failed to make the ref assess this hit. Surely inconsistent given the previous decision in the same match.”


Baird clearly hits the Italian 22, Alessandro Fusco, with an upright tackle, his shoulder making contact with the head of the Benetton back. For all the world to see, it was effectively a carbon copy of Faiva’s hit on Sheehan.

Baird’s tackle aside, the red card for Faiva and the 13-man chaos that ensued killed off the contest.

Alex Payne suggests that an orange card system could well in similar circumstances, writing: “Was Faiva’s red card foul play or poor technique? If it’s the latter, does that warrant a permanent disadvantage? Reckon this game may well advance the cause of the Orange card. Offending player sent off, but another player can return after 20mins. As you were…”


Another account pointed out that Faiva’s tackle technique is problematic in general. Analyst Brett Igoe tweeted a quick breakdown of his tackles leading up to his red card. “A look at Hame Faiva’s tackles before his red card. Very high target focus. needs to adapt his technique or he’ll see more red cards/cause himself a serious injury.”

Ireland, who trail France by three points after taking a losing bonus point from Paris, need to now beat England and Scotland to have a chance of winning the title.

“I thought they did really well with 13 men, it was very sloppy at times from us but a good result in the end,” man of the match Josh van der Flier said in a pitchside interview.

Ireland probably could have further passed the French on points difference in a game with little else to gain bar getting some experience into players such as Carbery, who started ahead of fit-again captain Johnny Sexton.

– additional reporting AAP


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