The incident in Saturday’s Tri-Nations match in which Drew Mitchell was sent off for two cautionable offences had us reaching for the rule book.
There was some confusion over whether two yellow cards for different infringements meant that a red card had to be shown, but diligent research by The Rugby Blog team (a glance at the IRB law book was enough) has confirmed that Craig Joubert was spot in with his decision.
Here is the relevant extract from the rulebook:
(a) Any player who infringes any part of the Foul Play Law must be admonished, or cautioned
and temporarily suspended for a period of ten minutes’ playing time, or sent-off.
(b) A player who has been cautioned and temporarily suspended who then commits a second
cautionable offence within the Foul Play Law must be sent-off.
Unfortunately for the Wallabies, it’s still debatable as to whether either offence was worthy of a yellow card. The first was for a late, no-armed tackle on Richie McCaw which wasn’t picked up that clearly by the TV cameras, and the second was unlucky – Mitchell was the last player to be caught slowing the ball down after several team warnings.
Here’s a clip courtesy of our friends at RugbyDump:
There is also a very useful addition to the lawbook that states, just for the avoidance of doubt:
10.7 PLAYER SENT OFF
A player who is sent-off takes no further part in the match.