The main talking point after the game on Saturday was whether Owen Farrell’s tackle on Andre Esterhuizen was legal.
Farrell made a huge hit on the Springbok centre with the clock in the red, and the decision on whether or not the challenge was worthy of a penalty ultimately decided the game. Granted, Handre Pollard would have had to kick the penalty to win, but it was well within range.
Here is the incident:
I think this is worthy of a penalty at least, because he has led with the shoulder with considerable force, without sufficient attempt to wrap the arms around the player.
At any other point in the game, I believe the penalty would have been awarded, but with the clock red after a tense Test at Twickenham, the officials knew that it would decide the outcome of the match, and with just a small element of doubt, they chose the safer option.
Given the current clampdown on dangerous tackling, and in light of other incidents such as Danny Cipriani’s red card against Munster, this is at least a penalty offence, but I can also see why it wasn’t given in the context of the match.
For comparison, I have dug out a few notable incidents from the recent past.
Danny Cipriani on Rory Scannell – red card and 3-week ban
James Haskell on Jamie Roberts – red cad and 4-week ban
Jerome Kaino on Jamie Roberts – yellow card and 5-week ban
Ofa Tu’ungafasi on Remy Grosso – penalty, cited but dismissed
Taniela Tupou on Damian Willemse – no penalty, cited and dismissed with no punishment
Are there any other incidents that should be included here for comparison?
What do you think of the Farrell tackle?