Ex Bok boss is surely taking thinly veiled swipe at Owen Farrell in latest rant
Bulls head coach Jake White was clearly not happy about Bismarck du Plessis’ yellow card against Ulster on Saturday at the Kingspan Stadium, basically accusing opposing No10 Billy Burns of feigning an injury to get the former South Africa hooker in trouble.
The World Cup winner was yellow carded late on in the match, only minutes after coming on as a substitute, for a clearout at a ruck straight to the back of Burns. The incident was initially missed by REFEREE, but was looked at again after Burns received treatment.
Following his side’s loss, White more or less accused Burns of milking an injury in order to get the incident looked at, suggesting rugby is going down the path of football.
“There are clean-outs like that all over the game, and I didn’t even think it was a penalty,” White said.
“I often wonder if their number 10 hadn’t laid down on the ground, whether that would’ve been looked for…
“Obviously it’s something we have to look at going forward, because what we don’t want is that every time a player gets cleaned-out, he lies down and makes the TMO look and review things.
“It’s something that we have to be careful of, because I know it happened in football, and then all of a sudden, they brought in something where if you dive, you get sent off as well.
“So, who knows: maybe in rugby, because it’s such a fine line now between yellow cards, red cards and TMO involvements that we are not going to get players trying to use every opportunity to influence the TMO, (there needs to be a way to address that).”
Now, on one basic level this is directed at Burns, but everyone knows that deep down White was actually talking about Owen Farrell, as, after all, the England captain is on the mind of every South African coach and player 24 hours a day.
Earlier that Saturday, Farrell was subject to a late hit from Harlequins centre Luke Northmore at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which resulted in a yellow card to Northmore. The fly-half has since been accused of diving, or at least milking the hit by laying on the floor holding his face.
Farrell was definitely hit, and while referee Luke Pearce felt it was to the chest, there is a case that he was indeed hit in the face. But regardless of where he was hit, it is nothing short of a miracle that he has survived his career in professional rugby if hits like that actually hurt him.
Take a look at the incident:
🟨 Luke Northmore received a yellow for this stray arm on Owen Farrell
— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) March 25, 2023