After many controversial moments, we have finally had our first red card of the Rugby World Cup during England’s clash with the USA.
England recorded a comprehensive 45-7 win over the USA in Gary Gold’s sides’ first game of the tournament but the encounter was not without its divisive calls.
Immediately from the kick-off, England centre Piers Francis’ shoulder appeared to hit Will Hooley’s head in a tackle in which his arms weren’t fully wrapped. Nic Berry chose not to consult the TMO and the incident went without review.
— Steve Lenthall (@steve_l15) September 26, 2019
It was a tough afternoon for the USA as England ran in six tries before they were reduced to 14 men.
In the 70th minute, Cork native John Quill was deservedly sent off for a shoulder to the head of substitute Owen Farrell. Unlike in previous circumstances during the tournament, there were no mitigating factors as Farrell was not dipping and Berry showed Quill the line.
England broke the 40-point barrier moments later as Joe Cokanasiga sailed in under the posts. Bryce Campbell scored a consolation try in the closing seconds of the game with AJ MacGinty tagging on the conversion.
"Direct shoulder to the head. High danger. No mitigation"
ICYMI: Here's the incident that saw John Quill sent off for a reckless challenge on Owen Farrell earlier today.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) September 26, 2019
So far, the Rugby World Cup has been overshadowed by the issue of high tackles, beginning with Reece Hodge’s hit on Peceli Yato during Australia’s win over Fiji. The winger was cited after the game and has been banned for three matches.
There was further controversy during Samoa’s clash with Russia with both Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu’u receiving yellow cards in the space of two minutes during their side’s dominant win over Lyn Jones’ Russia. Both players were cited and are expected to pick up match bans.
Expect Piers Francis to follow a similar route when his tackle is reviewed during the week.