Simon Zebo believes Cheslin Kolbe was very lucky to avoid being shown a red card for taking out Conor Murray in the air.
Springboks winger Kolbe was sent to the sin bin for taking British and Irish Lions scrum-half Murray out in the air during the second test, in what could have been a major turning point in the game.
Murray did get a hand down to the ground to somewhat break his fall, but the Irishman’s face made contact with the turf, and he was seen to immediately be the medical team.
Former Lions winger Zebo was speaking to Sky Sports about the incident and gave his opinion on what he believed to be a clear-cut red card challenge.
Was Cheslin Kolbe lucky not to see red? 🤔
Simon Zebo thinks so 👇 pic.twitter.com/eUMrmjiH7o
— Sky Sports Rugby Union (@SkySportsRugby) August 1, 2021
Simon Zebo on the Cheslin Kolbe incident.
“Red card every day of the week. I feel a little bit sorry for Cheslin because he’s probably thinking that he has to worry about the sideline,” Zebo explained.
“If he jumps with the ball he’s probably going to jump with the ball into touch. So I can understand him hesitating to get into the air a little bit.
“But the care has to be with the fella who has gone into the air to catch the ball. If he’s landing on his face then it has to be a red card. It’s pretty black and white.”
Several players avoid citings for potential foul play.
Kolbe has not been cited for taking Murray out in the air, and will be free to play in this Saturday’s series decider.
While the electric South African winger may be somewhat lucky to be allowed to feature in the third test, he isn’t alone, as a number of incidents of potential foul play have gone unpunished.
Lions prop Kyle Sinckler is the only player to have been cited from Saturday’s game, although teammates Maro Itoje and Mako Vunipola can count themselves lucky after escaping punishment.
Would have taken a brave ref to do it but if Mako takes red here in min 1 we never talk about the other incidents in the game because they don’t happen.@Springboks @lionsofficial pic.twitter.com/Kdp1TGtHql
— Province Fan (@ProvinceFan) August 1, 2021
Vunipola looked to have made a high tackle on Eben Etzebeth in the first minute of the game, and although it can be argued that the South African lock dipped into the tackle, the Lions prop’s shoulder did make contact with the Springbok’s face.
Itoje was seen to be kneeling on the chest of Damien De Allende at a ruck during the game, which the South African clearly didn’t appreciate, but the Englishman will also be free to feature in the series decider.